- The PS said instead of DAP, the government is selling NPK with the aim of replenishing the soils.
- He said farmers are used to DAP planting fertiliser yet it is acidic.
Agriculture PS Kello Harsama has confirmed that the subsidised fertiliser currently being sold to farmers does not have DAP due to soil acidity.
The PS said instead of DAP, the government is selling NPK with the aim of replenishing the soils.
He said farmers are used to DAP planting fertiliser yet it is acidic.
“We have been encouraging farmers not to use DAP as we seek to cut acidity levels on soils attributed to continuous use of this type of fertiliser. But this depends on different ecological zones, there are some ecologies where the DAP fertiliser is good for the soil but at national average, we have removed it from the list of fertiliser being sold to farmers. We have replaced it with NPK 23 23,” he said.
Harsama assured farmers that NPK 23 23 is still good though some researchers insist that DAP is still the fertiliser of choice in planting.
Dr Esther Gikonyo the centre director Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation Kabete said research showed that farmers will have to use double application rate of NPK as opposed to DAP.
“A farmer needs just a single bag of DAP in one acre unlike the NPK where they need to apply at least two bags in order to match the productivity rate of DAP,” Gikonyo said.
The research was conducted between 2016 and 2019 in Uasin Gishu and three other counties in Central Kenya where soils are highly acidic.
“The research indicated that DAP gives best yields compared to NPK,” she said.
DAP has highest phosphate content which is inherently low in our soils and particularly so in our acidic soils.
“When applied, the soils are converted with insoluble forms that cannot be taken up by the crop. We noted that the best management of acidic soils would be the application of lime to neutralise the acidity and combine it with recommended fertiliser based on soil test. DAP is the best yield after lime,” the scientist said.
A survey by the Central Bank of Kenya showed that 29 per cent of farmers had received the government subsidised fertiliser by early March 2023, compared to 20 per cent who received it in early November 2022.
The survey indicated farmers that are yet to receive the subsidised fertiliser cited a lag between the date of receipt of the notification and redemption of the voucher.
“Some of those not registered cited poor quality of the fertiliser, limited stocks, delayed delivery and lack of money. Access to the subsidised fertiliser is expected to rise since the distribution is still ongoing,” the report read.
So far 1.3 million bags of subsidised fertiliser have been sold or redeemed by farmers according to the National Cereals and Produce Board.
NCPB has received 1.57 million bags of assorted fertiliser and the remaining stock as of April is 250,0000 bags.
-Edited by SKanyara