Four million farmers across the country will benefit from government subsidized fertilizer being distributed through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to boost farming production.
The 400,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer was flagged off by Principal Secretary State Department of Agriculture Dr Kiprono Ronoh from the Export Trading Group warehouse in Bonje, Mombasa county.
Speaking after the flagging off, the PS said farmers will access the fertilizer at Ksh2500 per pack of 50kg through agro-dealers, National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) and other sites identified by the national government.
“This is expected to reach the farmers, who are now planting during this long rainy season, in good time as promised by the government,” Ronoh said.
He said the government will procure close to 7.5 million bags of fertilizer for farmers across the country for the long rainy season.
“This arrangement will not only boost the morale of the farmers but will also enhance food security as promised by this administration,” he said.
For maize production, the government targets 63 million bags in harvests this year.
Farmers are urged to register themselves with the e-voucher system so as to access the fertilizer by dialling *616*3#.
“The government has tested these fertilizers to ensure that they meet the right quality standards considering the structure of our soil which over time has been made a little bit acidic,” the PS said.
Ronoh said they have made arrangements to use the consignment model so that the private sector, the agro-dealers, can get business with the subsidized fertilizers program.
“We have registered close to 16,000 agro-dealers who are working together with the key manufacturers like ETG to ensure that they access these fertilizers and distribute to the farmers,” Ronoh said.
Ronoh noted that during the short rains the government will be distributing additional fertilizer close to 200,000 metric tons for the farmers growing their crops.
He said the distribution has targeted key counties that are now planting the 14 food chains among them maize, potatoes, tea, pyrethrum, coffee, rice, wheat, cotton, avocado, sisal and tobacco.
These counties include Nyamira, Kisii, Nakuru, Kericho, Bomet, Narok, among others.
So far, the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has captured 6.4million farmers in the database.
He further urged farmers to sell and store their maize through the NCPB to sell and store saying the charges are favorable.
“We are charging Ksh10 per bag and Ksh70 for drying whereas to sell we are paying Ksh4,000 per bag. I want to request the farmers who have excess maize in their store to take advantage of the government plan to buy maize from farmers through NCPB,” he added.
The PS mentioned that the government has conducted inspections nationwide to ensure all seed sellers provide certified seeds. Distributors found selling fake seeds have been arrested.
Additionally, some individuals importing herbicides not meeting government standards have been captured and arrested through the Pest Control Board.