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CS Munya commissions sale of government subsidized fertilizers

As the planting season commences, maize farmers across the country now have a sigh of relief following the official launch of subsidized fertilizers by the national government.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mr Peter Munya presided over the official sale of subsidized fertilizers in an event held at National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), Kitale stores, in Trans Nzoia County Monday morning.

Addressing farmers at the Kitale NCPB depot, Munya said the government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives would do everything possible to ensure farmers fully engaged in many agricultural activities in order to enhance the country’s food security.

“This is in addition to ensuring our farmers reap maximum benefits from agricultural activities by safeguarding them against high costs of production,” remarked the CS.

Through the fertilizer subsidy, the government has slashed almost by half prices of fertilizers, with Munya encouraging maize farmers, especially those in North Rift and western regions to increase acreage of land under the crop.

The CS announced that farmers would purchase the DAP fertilizer at a government subsidized price of Sh2, 800 per bag instead of the retail market price of Sh6, 000.

He further stated that under the proposed subsidized prices, farmers will get per 50kg of fertilizer varieties including CAN at Sh1, 950, UREA at Sh2700, NPK at Sh3000, MOP at Sh2500, Sulphate of Ammonia at Sh2500.

Munya noted the use of fertilizers in farming activity was threatened by recent spikes in the commodity prices as a result of the Covid pandemic as well as restricted efforts in countries like China, Russia and Turkey to protect their farmers against reduced global supplies.

Besides the post Covid-19 effects, the CS blamed the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine for the economic situation, which has seen prices of most goods and commodities soar up within the last few months.

The CS said increased buying of fertilizer also led to competition for shipping, thus increasing the rates for bulk and container cargo to high levels.

“However, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration is committed towards putting in place adequate mitigation measures in order to cushion our farmers from resultant high costs of production caused by external factors,” assured Munya.

Maize farmers will now be required to purchase the subsidized fertilizers at the nearest NCPB stores and designated warehouses spread across the country.

According to the CS, the sale of the subsidized commodity has been capped to a limited figure to enable most maize farmers, both in the small and large scale ambit, to benefit from the same.

Each farmer will be required to buy a maximum number of 20 and 10 bags of planting and topdressing fertilizers respectively.

Farmers who spoke to KNA at the venue expressed gratitude for the government’s move, with majority of them describing it as a timely intervention.

Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Mr Samson Ojwang, Deputy Governor Stanley Tarus and County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Agriculture Mrs Mary Nzomo accompanied the CS.

By Kiragu Kariuki and Maurice Aluda

 

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