Government Spokesman Dr Isaac Mwaura has says Kenya is committed to bolster the agricultural sector through subsidized farm inputs, strengthening food security and boosting farmers’ income.
Mwaura says the President has issued a directive that the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) be allocated Ksh 10 billion in the Medium-Term Budget since the corporation has an annual loan demand of Ksh 15 billion and is experiencing a shortfall of unfinanced applications.
“Kenyan farmers will now get access to affordable loans, which are 7pc cheaper than the commercial loans further having a positive impact to the economy by lowering the cost of living, creating more jobs and earning us foreign exchange through exports of agricultural producee” he says.
He further says 6.4 million registered farmers under the Kenya Management Information System (KIAMIS) are able to get subsidized fertilizer through the e-voucher system and the vouchers are redeemable at the National Cereals and Produce Board(NCPB) depots and last mile distribution centers.
“The government is distributing subsidized fertilizer for the long rains to registered farmers at Ksh 2,500 per bag, also 2,445,097 bags of short rain fertilizer worth Ksh 6.178 billion have benefited over 449,191 farmers,“ he notes.
He also mentioned the governments commitment to pay arrears owed to17,330 sugarcane farmers and cooperatives to the tune of Ksh 1.33 billion effective immediately and the payments be done through e-vouchers
“Hustler farmers in Nzoia Sugar will get Ksh 213,007,583.70, Chemelil Sugar Ksh 182,731,596.89, Muhoroni Sugar Ksh 250,176,584.70 while SONY Sugar farmers will get payments of Ksh 684,084,237.81,” adds Dr Mwaura
Additionally, coffee farmers will get paid Ksh 40 instantly while the other half of the Guaranteed Minimum Return of Ksh 80 will be paid within a month.
Ksh 2.9 billion has been disbursed to 221,382 farmers in 24 counties through the Coffee Cherry Advance Revolving Fund.
Lastly, 21 metric tons of sunflower seeds imported from Zambia worth Ksh 250 million will be distributed for free to farmers in order to reduce the cost of cooking oil.