BRACE FOR TOUGH TIMES

Fertiliser prices expected to skyrocket, farmers warned

Planting season for 2022 expected to be tough as global prices of the farm commodities continue to soar.

In Summary
  • •A bag of DAP is currently going for Sh5,000 in Mombasa and Sh6,000 for Urea, which may increase to Sh7,000 by next year.
  • Experts says global demand of fertiliser has gone up outstripping supply thus pushing prices of the commodity through the roof. 
Fertiplant acting managing director and Fertiliser Association of Kenya chairman Eustace Muriuki shows the 2kg fertiliser pack for domestic use to Afriqom delegates.
Fertiplant acting managing director and Fertiliser Association of Kenya chairman Eustace Muriuki shows the 2kg fertiliser pack for domestic use to Afriqom delegates.
Image: Courtesy

Kenyan farmers who rely on the long rains are in for a tough 2022 planting season as global fertiliser prices keep soaring.

A bag of DAP is currently going for Sh5,000 in Mombasa and Sh6,000 for Urea, which may increase to Sh7,000 by next year.

 Afriqom managing director Mounir Halim said fertiliser prices will be on an upward trajectory until June 2022.

“Sparked off by a myriad of factors, global demand of fertiliser has gone up outstripping supply thus pushing prices of the commodity through the roof,” Halim said. 

He was speaking in Nakuru during a tour of Fertiplant East Africa Ltd.

Halim attributed the high cost to disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic in production, consumption, supply and distribution of fertiliser.

He said this has led to many countries using up their strategic reserves and as the world reverted back to normalcy.

“The ideal equilibrium is yet to be achieved resulting in a race for countries restock thus pushing up prices," Halim said. 

"Further decisions by major producers China to stop exports coupled by those of Russia to cap exports have drastically cut supplies into the global market resulting in more money chasing fewer goods,” he said. 

“As a result, bigger global buyers in Europe, Asia and South America are offering higher prices to mop up available stock.”

Halim said that Africa commands roughly two per cent of global consumption, and the diminished appetite and purchasing power means Kenya and other African countries are locked out of the global market and unable to influence prices in our favour.

Fertilizer Association of Kenya chairperson Eustace Muriuki, projections indicate that that 2022 season will be tough for many farmers.

This is because of the steep prices meaning many farmers will lower their fertiliser consumption per acre to try and salvage the season.

“The prices may start dipping between March and June 2022 after the commencement of the planting season,” he said.

Muriuki urged farmers to make right fertiliser purchase decisions by having their soils tested and purchasing recommended fertilisers for their soils and intended crops.

This, he said, will guarantee farmers get better returns.

(edited by Amol Awuor)