Ministry releases Sh3.5 billion for subsidy fertilizer as planting season starts

Farmers across Kenya will start buying subsidized fertilizer next week at Kes3,500 per 50Kg bag down from Kes6,500 as the planting season for the short rains starts.

The move follows the release of Kes3.5 billion by the Ministry of Agriculture that will make available 1.4 million bags of fertilizer to millions of farmers.

The National Cereal and Produce Board has been tasked with the distribution of the fertilizer whose supply has been capped at a maximum of 100 bags per farmer.

Fertilizer, a basic commodity during planting season, has seen prices go out of reach for many producers partly as a result of the ongoing Russia/Ukraine war. Kenya mainly imports the commodity from the two countries which are currently embroiled in war.

Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Co-operatives announced a Kes3.5 billion fertilizer subsidy following a recent directive by President William Ruto on his inauguration.

The subsidized fertilizer will be first available to farmers in regions where short rains are expected from October, a move expected to shore up food production in a bid to help stabilize food prices which have spiraled in recent months as inflation rose up to 8.5 percent in August.

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The skyrocketing prices have affected both large-scale and smallholder farmers in the past year derailing the country’s quest to achieve food security.

“The funds have been availed and will be used to subsidize 71,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer to farmers which will cover 1.4 million acres during the planting season,” Ministry of Agriculture Principal Secretary, Dr Francis Owino, said.

The subsidized prices will see a 50Kg of Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) retailing at Kes3,500, Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN) at Kes2,875 and a 50Kg bag of UREA at Kes3,500.

Further, a 50 Kg bag of NPK, MOP and Sulphate of Ammonia will cost a farmer Kes3,275, Kes1,775 and Kes2,220 respectively.

“To ensure efficient delivery and effective control mechanisms are in place, the fertilizer will be available through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depots and sub-depots countrywide effective September 19, 2022. Individual farmers will be entitled to a maximum of 100 bags of 50kg bags of fertilizer,” explained Dr Owino.

To farmers requiring fertilizer in the short rains-dependent areas, the ministry is asking they visit the nearest NCPB depot or sub-depot to access the commodity.

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