Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has appealed to large and smallholder farmers across the country to reach out to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to access subsidized fertilizer with expected short rains.
Speaking Thursday when he flagged off a consignment of 426,000 bags of DAP fertilizer for farmers across Kenya under the Ksh 3.55 billion fertilizer subsidy programme, the Deputy President said the move is a strategic and immediate intervention to cushion farmers from high cost of inputs and improve food production.
“Agriculture remains the backbone of economic and industrial development particularly in food production, income generation and production of raw materials for manufacturing. The government remains committed to achieving sustainable agricultural growth and transforming agriculture from subsistence to commercially and globally competitive industry,” said Deputy President Rigathi Gachagwa.
Government expects to avail 71,000 metric tonnes of subsidized fertilizer to farmers which will cover 1.4 million acres during the plating season from short rains expected in October.
As a result of the subsidy a 50kg bag of DAP will retail at Ksh 3,500, CAN Ksh 2,875, UREA Ksh 3,500, NPK Ksh 3,275, MOB Ksh 1,775 and Sulphate of Amonia Ksh 2,220.
DP Gachagua said the Kenya Kwanza administration has prioritized agriculture, healthcare, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) development as pillars of growth economic.
According to the DP, Kenya is facing high food prices triggered by internal and external factors, a factor that has seen Kenya rely on import of cereals such as rice, maize and beans to plug the deficit.
“Government spells out prioritization of agricultural production by availing affordable and accessible inputs as an intervention. In particular, we have identified fertilizer for immediate intervention due to its potential, immediate and profound impact on agricultural productivity in the medium term as well as long term,” added DP Gachagua.
NCPB will avail 1.4 million bags of 50kg of fertilizer to farmers in all its regional depots and sub-depots with Individual farmer being entitled to a maximum of 100 bags.