- The last time the government offered subsidised fertiliser through the e-voucher system, individual farmers were only allowed to buy 20 bags of fertiliser.
- Ruto directed that 1.4 million bags of fertiliser be availed to farmers at a subsidised price of Sh3,500 per 50kg bag down from the current price of Sh6,500.
Farmers have urged the government to ensure only genuine individuals benefit from the subsidised fertiliser.
Kenya Farmers Association director Kipkorir Menjo said the government should have data on the genuine small-scale farmers to prevent unscrupulous traders from benefiting from the fertiliser subsidy.
"The Sh3,500 is good news for farmers in the Eastern and Central region but government should ensure the fertiliser gets to the farmers on time. The quantities are sufficient but only genuine farmers should benefit from this," Menjo said.
Joseph Wanjuki, a farmer from Kieni in Nyeri county, said the nearest cereals board depot is far from him, and he would rather spend Sh1,000 to get the fertiliser from the nearest depot.
"A 50kg bag of fertiliser is selling at Sh6,500 at the agrovet and I would rather add Sh1,000 for fare to buy the government subsidised fertiliser at Sh3,500. At the end of the day I will spend about Sh4,500 to Sh5,000 and I am okay with that," he said.
According to Agriculture Principal Secretary Francis Owino, farmers can now buy fertiliser at the nearest cereal board depots.
He said a 50kg bag of DAP fertiliser will be selling at Sh3,500, CAN at Sh2,875, Urea at Sh3,500, NPK at Sh3,275, MOP at Sh1,775 and Sulphate of Ammonia at Sh2,220.
"To ensure efficient delivery and effective control mechanisms are in place, the fertilisers will be availed through the National Cereals and Produce Board depots and sub-depots country wide, effective September 19, 2022," Owino said.
The PS said individual farmers will be entitled to a maximum of 100 bags of 50kg.
He said the price only favours those farmers who will buy from NCPB, but added that fertiliser prices should start stabilising in the market.
In his inauguration speech on September 13, President William Ruto said as part of the government's intervention to address the high cost of living, he would facilitate availability and affordability of fertiliser and good quality seeds.
The President directed that 1.4 million bags of fertiliser be availed to farmers at a subsidised price of Sh3,500 per 50kg bag down from the current price of Sh6,500 per 50 kg bag.
Owino said that to actualise the President's directive, the subsidised fertiliser programme will start with counties undertaking planting during the October-November-December short rain season.
"The government has availed Sh3.55 billion to subsidise 1.42 million bags of 50kg bags of fertiliser. The quantity will support cultivation of approximately 1.4 million acres," the PS said.
The last time the government offered subsidised fertiliser through the e-voucher system, individual farmers were only allowed to buy 20 bags of fertiliser.
On April 4, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya directed the NCPB to allow growers access to up to 20 bags of subsidised fertiliser.
He said capping had been increased to 20 bags from 10 bags of 50kg.
Munya said this would cushion farmers from high fertiliser prices and help increase productivity and incomes.
He said only registered farmers would benefit from the Sh5.7 billion fertiliser subsidy programme.
On April 1, Munya said the government would offer a subsidy for 2.9 million bags of 50kg fertiliser to farmers.
He said this would bring down the price of a 50kg bag of DAP fertiliser from Sh6,000 to Sh2,800, CAN fertiliser from Sh3,900 to Sh1,950 and NPK will sell at Sh3,000 from Sh4,900.
UREA was to sell at Sh2,700 down from Sh6,500 and MOP at Sh2,500 from Sh3,800.
Munya had attributed the rise in fertiliser prices to producer countries such as China, Russia and Turkey restricting exports to protect their farmers.
“This is compounded by heavy consumption demand from India, Brazil and USA buying up large quantities, hence reducing available global supplies,” the CS said.
He said the Russia-Ukraine crisis caused further disruptions in the global fertiliser industry, which has also affected domestic prices.
Munya said the NCPB will sell the fertilisers at agreed subsidised prices to stabilise the prices.
(edited by Amol Awuor)