- The government is selling the subsidized fertilizer to farmers through NCPB.
- Agriculture CS Peter Munya had directed that the amount of fertilizer be increased to 20 bags per farmer but supply is low.
Farmers in the Rift Valley have complained over lack of adequate subsidised fertilizer at the NCPB depots.
The producers have also raised concern over sudden increase in prices of the subsidized commodity from Sh2,800 to Sh3,000 per 50kg bag.
Moiben MP Sila Tiren, who is chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, said they were in consultation with the government and suppliers over the shortage.
Tiren and director of the Kenya Farmers Association Kipkorir Menjo met farmers at the NCPB depot in Eldoret where they expressed fear that the fertilizer crisis may affect production.
"We are in consultation with the government and suppliers to mop up the fertiliser that is available and ensure NCPB has adequate supplies to give to farmers", Tiren said.
The government is selling the subsidized fertilizer to farmers through NCPB, which has capped at five the maximum number of bags a farmer can buy.
Agriculture CS Peter Munya had directed that the amount of fertilizer be increased to 20 bags but supply at the NCPB depots has been inadequate.
Tiren said the government was yet to exhaust Sh5.7 billion that was set aside for the subsidies programme.
The MP said the fluctuation in prices of the subsidized fertilizer may be due to market dynamics.
Due to shortage of fertilizer internationally, prices of the commodity have increased to about Sh6,000 per 50kg bag of DAP, which is used for planting.
Government subsidies have helped to reduce the price by almost half, giving a reprieve to small scale farmers who have been unable to afford the fertilizer in the open markets.
Tiren said although the agriculture sector was faced with serious challenges, there was hope that production would not drop drastically.
"We thank President Kenyatta for intervening to ensure that at least we have some subsidized fertilizer to help especially the small scale farmers," Tiren said.
Menjo said the government must prioritise the agriculture sector by putting in place policies and funding that will enable farmers maintain high food production.
Most of the farmers had used the high cost fertilizer to plant and repeating the exercise would be more costly for them.
Many farmers in high producing counties of Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Nandi and parts of Elgeyo Marakwet had already planted their crops using the high cost fertilizer.
There have been fears that the fertilizer crisis along with delayed long rains may affect production this year.
“The long rains have delayed in most areas and the dry spell could compound the situation for farmers who have been going through other situations including high costs of farm inputs especially fertilizer”, Menjo said.
Last year farmers produced more than 40 million bags of maize but counties fear the production would decline to less than 35 million bags.
Edited by Henry Makori