DP Gachagua flags off subsidized fertilizer to various parts of the country

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 22 Sep, 2022 11:49 | 3 mins read
Gachagua flags fertiliser
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during a presser where he flagged off a consignment of subsidized fertilizer to various parts of the country. The event was held on Thursday, September 22, 2022, at his Harambee Annex office. PHOTO/Courtesy

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has today, Thursday, September 22, 2022, flagged off a consignment of subsidised fertiliser to various parts of the country.

Speaking during a presser, on Thursday, September 22, 2022, Gachagua announced that the government had released Ksh3.55 billion for the fertilizer subsidy kitty adding that the Ruto-led administration had availed 1.4 million bags of 50kg fertilizer to farmers across the country.

He additionally stated that the new review will lower the cost of DAP fertilizer to Ksh3,500 from Ksh7,000, CAN to 2,875, NPK 3,275, MOP 1,775, UREA, 3,500 and Sulphate of Ammonia 2,220.

The quantity availed is expected to support the cultivation of approximately 1.4 million acres.

"The national treasury has availed Ksh3.55billion, under this program, the government through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB)will make available 1.4million bags of 50Kg of fertiliser to farmers during the ongoing short rains season and prices as tabulated," he stated.

"I appeal to farmers in the regions that are receiving short rains to reach out to the local National Cereals and Produce Board depots and sub-depots to access the required fertiliser," he added

Cheap fertilizer

The government through the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday, September 20, released Ksh3.5 billion to cushion farmers against the high cost of fertilisers in the country.

In a statement, Agriculture Principal Secretary Francis Owino said the move follows a directive issued by President William Ruto last week.

The Head of State had during his inauguration at Kasarani Stadium promised to avail 1.4 million bags of fertilizer, which would sell for Ksh3,500 each, compared to the prevailing price of Ksh6,500.

Owino noted that the subsidised fertiliser will be first availed to farmers in regions experiencing the short rains.

"To actualize the Presidential directive, the subsidized fertilizer programme will start with counties undertaking planting during the short rains season of 2022. The Government has availed Kshs. 3.55Billion to subsidize 71,000 Mt (1.42 million x 50 Kg bags) of fertilizer for growing food crops during the short rains season. This quantity will support cultivation of approximately 1.4 million acres," Owino said.

The fertiliser will be availed through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) Depots and sub-depots countrywide. Each farmer will be allowed to purchase a maximum of 100 bags.

"To ensure efficient delivery and effective control mechanisms are in place, the fertilizers will be availed through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) Depots and sub-depots countrywide, effective 19th September 2022. Individual farmers will be entitled to a maximum of 100 x 50 kg bags of fertilizers."he added.

The new prices are as follows: DAP (Ksh3,500) CAN (Ksh2,875) UREA (Ksh3,500) NPK (Ksh3,275) MOP (Ksh1,775) and Sulphate of Ammonia (Ksh2,220).

Over the weekend, Ruto said his administration will invest in producers, terming subsidies on consumption as unsustainable.

"We are not going to be subsidizing consumption. That is why we are going slow on the matter of subsidizing consumption. We are going to work and support producers," he said while addressing a Kenya Kwanza parliamentary group meeting in Naivasha on Saturday," he stated.

"The Unga subsidy that was done, I was being briefed by the Ministry of Agriculture for one month, the taxpayer was asked to pay Ksh7 billion for the unga that cost Ksh100 which was nowhere in the first place. Only a few people laid hold of it. If we had spent Sh7 billion shillings in fertilizer it would have been a different ball game." he added.

At the time of his announcement, farmers across the country pointed out that there were dubious individuals benefitting from the program urging the government to keep tabs and ensure genuine individuals benefit from the subsidised fertiliser.

"The Ksh3,500 is good news for farmers in the Eastern and Central region but the government should ensure the fertiliser gets to the farmers on time. The quantities are sufficient but only genuine farmers should benefit from this," Kenya Farmers Association director Kipkorir Menjo stated at the time.

In April this year, the government announced a subsidy for 2.9 million bags of 50kg fertilisers to farmers across the country in a bid to cushion farmers and reduce the high costs of living.

At the time, individual farmers were only allowed to purchase 20 bags of fertiliser.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya had directed that the NCPB grants access to only 20 bags noting that the number had been increased from 20 bags to the previous 10.

The CS stated that the high prices in the precious commodity were a result of restrictions from producer countries such as Turkey, Russia and China.

He also attributed the predicament to the Russia-Ukraine crisis which had caused disruptions in the fertiliser industry worldwide.

“This is compounded by heavy consumption demand from India, Brazil and USA buying up large quantities, hence reducing available global supplies,” he stated.

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