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Farmers in Narok get 280,000 bags of subsidized fertilizer

The government, through the National Fertilizer Subsidy Programme, has flagged off 280,000 bags of subsidized fertilizer to farmers in Narok County that is expected to boost their crop production.

Newly posted County Commissioner Reuben Lotiatia who flagged off the contingent at the Narok National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB) said food security, reducing food imports and increasing exports were some of the priorities of the Kenya Kwanza Administration.

“Before, the prices of fertilizer were very high, but the current administration has reduced the prices from Sh6,000 to Sh2500. This will enable more farmers to afford the access the fertilizer,” he said.

He reiterated that farmers were the pillars of the nation as they helped supply food to the nation, adding that this is the reason the government always has good plans to ensure they have easy access to planting inputs.

However, the CC warned farmers who have the intention of selling the subsidized fertilizer to other farmers on retail or wholesale, that it was criminal and they would be arrested.

“The government ensures that the farmers are not deceived to use inputs that are not profitable. Last week, we had inspectors from Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) who were moving around the County to ensure the seeds the farmers were purchasing were certified,” he continued.

Director General Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) Dr. Eliud Kireger who attended the flagging off function asked all farmers to ensure they are registered in the Kenya Integrated Agriculture Management Information System (KIAMIS) to benefit from the government programmes.

“We are aware that the system is slow, but we are working to improve on it so that it can serve the farmers better,” he added while urging farmers to plant certified seeds for better results.

Narok County Executive Member in charge of Agriculture Ms. Joyce Keshe noted the high consumption of fertilizer in the County saying the uptake is commendable.

“We have been getting messages from the farmers that they want the fertilizer, but we thank God that we have received the fertilizers. That means the registration of the farmers was credible,” she said.

David Selem, a farmer from Katakala area called on the government to give planting seeds through the NCBP alongside the fertilizer.

“We request to take the fertilizer and seeds in the same place because we have heard of cases where certified seeds are mixed with those not certified hence compromising the harvest,” he said.

By Ann Salaton

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