• Government has committed 388,000 metric tonnes of various fertiliser for the 2023 long rains.
• 12 breadbasket counties in North and South Rift have been selected to pilot the first phase of the subsidy programme.
The government will launch subsidised fertiliser distribution in mid-February.
Agriculture Principal Secretary Kello Harsama said by that time fertiliser would have reached the 12 maize growing North and South Rift counties.
They include Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nakuru, Kericho, Bomet, Narok and West Pokot among others.
He said the farmer registration process is ongoing and so far four million farmers across the country have been registered.
“The process will be a continuous exercise to ensure that all farmers are data-captured,” he said.
The PS spoke on Tuesday while launching the Agricultural Marketing Strategy that seeks to address access to markets for agricultural produce both to the local and export market.
On Friday last week, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said a national farmer registration exercise is ongoing under the coordination of chiefs and assistant chiefs.
He said this will help in ensuring genuine farmers benefit from the national fertiliser subsidy programme.
The DP said the new fertiliser subsidy programme is being fast-tracked so that farmers can utilise it in the coming long rains of March-April-May.
Late last year, President William Ruto directed that subsidised fertiliser be given only to registered farmers through e-wallet arrangements.
Fertilisers have been identified as a key input to be subsidised by the government in line with the Kenya Kwanza government manifesto.
Gachagua said the registration process will require strong collaboration and support from the national and county governments together with other partners.
He said he has put in place a multi-sectoral framework including Ministries of Interior and National Administration; Agriculture and Livestock Development, The National Treasury and Economic Planning; Co-operatives, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development; Investments, Trade and Industry.
He said 12 breadbasket counties have been selected to pilot the first phase of the subsidy programme and it will be rolled out in all the counties upon successful implementation.
“This programme has tight timelines and high public expectations. Furthermore, KNTC is in the process of distributing the fertiliser in your counties in readiness for the long rains. You are therefore expected to clearly understand your roles and give this exercise the seriousness it deserves,” Gachagua said.
Harsama said the registration of farmers will enhance traceability, accountability and transparency in the implementation of the fertiliser subsidy programmes.
The subsidy fertiliser programme is aimed at bringing down the cost of fertiliser, which had increased significantly to Sh6,500 per 50kg bag.
Harsama said the government has therefore committed to subsidising 388,000 of various types of fertiliser for the 2023 long rains.
“This will ensure that the targeted farmer beneficiaries access cheaper fertilisers at subsidised prices,” he said.
(Edited by V. Graham