SUBSIDY PROGRAMME

State seeks agro-dealers to provide input for e-voucher system

Farmers in 25 counties to access the e-voucher system for the long-rains planting season

In Summary

• The e-voucher system is currently being implemented in Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Embu, Kericho, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Bungoma, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kisumu, Trans Nzoia and Meru.  

• The government called for expression of interest for agro-dealers service to supply quality input to farmers through the e-voucher subsidy management system.

Agriculture CS Peter Munya during the launch of the national value chain support e-voucher programme at Ahero Multipurpose Centre in Kisumu county on August 28, 2020.
Agriculture CS Peter Munya during the launch of the national value chain support e-voucher programme at Ahero Multipurpose Centre in Kisumu county on August 28, 2020.
Image: COURTESY

Embu and Meru are among the 12 counties where farmers will receive government farming inputs through the e-voucher system. 

Other counties are Nandi, Uasin Gishu,  Kericho, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Bungoma, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kisumu, and Trans Nzoia. 

Yesterday, the government announced that it is seeking agro-dealers to provide farmers with input for the e-voucher system. It called for expression of interest for agro-dealers service to supply quality input to farmers through the e-voucher subsidy management system.

In a notice published on Tuesday, Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga said the ministry is implementing the National Government Post Covid-19 Economic Stimulus Programme.

This, he said, is aimed at subsidising supply of farm input through the e-voucher system to reach more small-scale farmers during the coming long rains season.

The e-voucher system is coming in to replace the government fertiliser subsidy programme that sought to help farmers that could not afford input, mainly fertiliser.

The subsidy programme came to an end in 2018 and the e-voucher system was established under the National Value Chain Support Programme to provide more than one million households with access to quality input through the e-voucher system.

In the system, farmers are issued with a voucher to buy input from registered and licensed agro-dealers who later claim payment from the government with the voucher. Payment to the dealers will be electronically done through the e-voucher redemption process.

The programme is funded by the government and is currently being implemented in 12 counties. Boga said the ministry intends to roll out the e-voucher input subsidy in additional 25 counties under coffee, maize, sorghum, green grams, rice and Irish potato value chain.

The additional counties include Murang’a, Tharaka Nithi, Kiambu, Machakos, Migori, Laikipia, Narok, Nyamira, Bomet, West Pokot, Kisii, Vihiga, Kakamega, Taita Taveta, Kajiado, Homa Bay, Wajir, Turkana, Makueni, Isiolo, Kitui, Siaya, Busia, Kwale and Nakuru.

In the notice, the PS noted that all applicants should meet the criteria given and will undergo a pre-selection process at the county level before they are finally selected and enrolled by the ministry.   

“The successful agro-dealers will sign an agreement with the Ministry and also be trained on how to redeem the vouchers. The input to be supplied consist of certified seeds, basal and top-dressing fertilisers, lime and agro-chemicals. The payment to the agro dealer will be electronically done through the e-voucher redemption process,” the notice read.

The government will also be increasing the number of agro-dealers in the 12 counties that are already implementing the e-voucher system.  

Some of the mandatory requirement for any agro-dealer interested in getting into the include certificate of incorporation or business registration, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services and Pest Control Products Board certificates. They must also be KRA-compliant.

“One must have proof of being an agro-dealer registered and physically located at least three kilometers to the catchment area of the farmers being served,” the noticed showed.