Farmers say elimination of cartels has brought in more competitors in the market, leading to stabilisation of prices
The prices of fertiliser have dropped to a four-year-low despite the government saying farmers won't get subsidies.
Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga on Wednesday said the e-voucher system will not be applied this planting season due to logistical delays.
“We've had some delays in the approval of resources so the system will be ready for use next year. For this planting season, we are encouraging farmers to buy fertiliser early enough from agrovets,” Boga said.
He told farmers to buy fertiliser early enough to ensure they plant on time. The weatherman announced on Monday that some parts of the country will start experiencing heavy rains from this week.
Kipkorir Menjo, the director of Kenya Farmers Association, said this year, the market price of fertiliser are at between Sh2,800 and Sh2,600 per 50kg bag.
The prices ranged between Sh3,000 and Sh3,500 for the last four years.
Government’s subsidised fertiliser was selling at Sh1,800 per bag but unscrupulous traders benefitted at the expense of genuine farmers.
Eustace Muriuki, chairman of the Fertiliser Association of Kenya, said prices of a bag of fertiliser have gone down by Sh600 owing to a reduction in the global market charges.
“A bag of DAP fertiliser at the Port of Mombasa is currently selling at Sh2,200. By the time it gets to farmers to Kitale, the bag is selling at between Sh2,800 and Sh2,900 due to transport costs,” Muriuki said.
By this time last year, a bag of DAP at the Port of Mombasa was selling at Sh2,800. This means farmers were buying the same bag at between Sh3,000 to Sh3,500 after transportation costs, Muriuki said.
Menjo attributed the low price to the dismantling of cartels in fertiliser business which allowed many players to come into the market.
“So competition amongst them stabilised the prices to around Sh2,200 from the Port of Mombasa so by the time it gets to Kitale, it sells at Sh2,500 due to transport logistics and at Sh2,600 to the farmers in the villages. This is a good price that most farmers can afford,” Menjo said.
He said farmers were guaranteed of quality fertiliser because there were no cartels to interfere with the chain.
“The prices are better from last year when it was at Sh3,000 and the quality is not compromised,” Menjo said.
Muriuki assured farmers that there is enough fertiliser for the long rainy season.
edited by peter obuya