State to buy subsidised fertiliser for maize farmers - Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto addresses mourners during the funeral of Leonard Kipkorir Yator in Kesses, Uasin Gishu, Friday, February 15, 2019. /COURTESY
Deputy President William Ruto addresses mourners during the funeral of Leonard Kipkorir Yator in Kesses, Uasin Gishu, Friday, February 15, 2019. /COURTESY

Deputy President William Ruto has said the state will provide subsidised fertiliser for farmers.

He said one million bags have already been bought and told Treasury to speed up the purchase of another two million bags.

"The ministries of Agriculture and Treasury should buy the fertiliser quickly before the planting season next month," Ruto said.

The DP

spoke

during the funeral of retired Senior Superintendent of Police Leonard Kipkorir Yator at his Chuiyat home in Kesses, Uasin Gishu County.

On January 31, the

chairman of the Strategic Food Reserves Fund Noah Wekesa said the government will not buy subsidised fertiliser.

Wekesa said although the government had been importing the fertiliser over the years, this time it will not be possible because of procurement challenges.

Last week, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri reiterated the same to MPs.

Attorney General Kihara Kariuki advised the Agriculture ministry not to import fertiliser through flawed procurement processes involving the firms contracted.

Kihara wrote to the ministry saying the importation tendering had been flawed and public money would be lost if the procurement for this year’s fertiliser was allowed to go on.

Farmers had been advised to be ready to buy the fertiliser.

Last week, the North Rift Farmers Union signed an MoU with the Export Trading Group (ETG) Inputs Kenya to provide DAP fertiliser at a cost of Sh3,000 per bag.

ETG has been the largest supplier of fertiliser in Kenya. The firm has already delivered 30,000 bags of DAP in Eldoret.

The company also agreed to buy a 90kg bag of maize from farmers at Sh1900.

ETG in partnership with businessman Bundotich Kipriop, popularly known as Buzeki, had signed an MoU with farmers.

Ruto said food security is one of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda and the government will support farmers to enhance production.

The DP also

wants farmers to diversify and not to entirely rely on maize farming.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, MPs Oscar Sudi (Kapseret) and Caleb Kositany (Soy) and Uasin Gishu Speaker David Kiplagat were present.

The deceased

was once an aide to retired President Daniel

arap

Moi.

Until his death early this year, Yator was the chief adviser of the Kalenjin Council of Elders.