The government has purchased 100,000 metric tonnes of subsidized fertilizer to be sold to farmers at Sh1,200 per 50kg bag from Sh1,800.
Agriculture PS Richard Lesiyampe said that the CAN or planting fertilizer is currently being transported from the port of Mombasa to the National Cereals and Produce Board stores in readinesses for the planting season.
“Last season, the government was selling subsidized fertiliser to farmers at Sh1,800 but this season, the price has been reduced by 33.3 per cent to sell at Sh1,200. This is in line with the Presidential directive to reduce the price so that more farmers would afford to buy fertiliser and hence increase productivity,” he said.
Lesiyampe said the assorted fertiliser will be distributed to the more than two million registered farmers for the coming long rains season expected to start mid next month, though farmers in parts of Narok County have already started planting.
He advised farmers to ensure they have fertiliser on time so that it can have an impact on production.
The PS noted that farmers consume about 600,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser annually and the government only provides between 25-30 per cent of this.
“The government subsidy is below one third while the privates sector provides two thirds which is about 450,000 metric tonnes,” said Lesiyampe.
NCPB managing director Newton Terer had said the amount of fertilizer purchased would not be sufficient for all farmers nationwide saying about 10-12 million bags are required annually.
Farmers especially in the North Rift have been calling upon the national government to make adequate subsidized fertilizer available in time and at affordable prices.
Kenya Farmers’ Association Uasin Gishu branch director Kipkorir Menjo early last week said having the input in time and at the affordable prices would help them to plant early.