Ruto promises bi-monthly payments for milk farmers

The Government is set to start bi-monthly payments for milk farmers starting July this year. While touring the Eldoret National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) stores, President William Ruto called for prompt payments to farmers to boost production.

“I have directed that starting this July, payments will be made promptly every end month just like salaries. In the future, I am making preparations so that farmers will be paid every 15 days to buy animal feeds,” the President promised.

Citing cases where the payments delay for upto two months, Dr Ruto underscored the drive towards bimonthly payments, aligning with the vision to bolster agriculture as a pivotal economic sector and fortify national food security. He further directed the government to start paying Ksh50 for every litre of milk by the end of April.

On reforms in the agricultural sector, Dr Ruto disclosed plans to further reduce the price of subsidized fertilizer, stating, “I promised I would sort out the fertiliser issue. Now a bag which was retailing at Kes6,000 you are paying Kes2,500. Pray for me so that I can reduce further next year,” he explained.

Speaking in West Pokot, the President called out KEL Chemicals, a company that is facing mounting accusations of supplying farmers with substandard fertilizer, directing that all farmers who received fake fertilizers from NCPB various depots must be compensated at no extra charge.

He also acknowledged reports of seed quality issues from Kenya Seeds Company and announced management changes alongside reforms to ensure the provision of quality seeds to Kenyan farmers.

Read also: Kenya signs deal to set up green fertiliser factory by 2025

Fertiliser distribution

While addressing the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi clarified a commercial contract between the NCPB and SBL Innovate for product distribution.

He outlined NCPB’s commercial arm, allowing qualified parties to distribute products through their channels, adding that the soil conditioner from SBL Innovate wasn’t part of government subsidies.

“NCPB has a commercial wing where anybody who meets certain criteria would be able to put through their products through our channel system, and NCPB because it has a commercial wing, will be paid a commission out of the availability of that facility for any manufacturer to distribute this kind of a commodity or any other that anybody would be willing to,” said Linturi.

The CS added that the government plans to procure 12,502,998 bags of fertiliser this year under the subsidy programme. A total of 12 suppliers were identified in the FY2022/23 season when the government distributed 489,910 bags of subsidized fertilizers.

“In the FY2023/24 have paid Kes4,161,593,087 for the short rains, and the long rain which is the season we are in up to March 14, we have paid Kes 1,217,834,837 meaning for the four years we have paid a total of Kes 8,977,943,899 as the total subsidy towards this programme,” added Linturi.

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