Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has called on farmers to register in the ongoing National Household Farmers’ Registration exercise so as to enable the government plan accordingly while making the national budgets.
Linturi who spoke at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) Narok Branch when he inspected the distribution of subsidized fertilizer said his ministry is planning to give more subsidized inputs to farmers to boost production.
“The farmers’ database will help the ministry in planning for the farmers’ needs as they seek to get funding from the National Treasury. We will get to know the number of farmers and their specific needs,” he said.
The CS who spoke to prominent farmers in the county promised that the government would not import any goods that the farmers have in store.
“We care about our farmers and we promise you that we will never import any goods as long as you have them in store. But as long as the goods are not available, we will import so as to curb food shortage,” said Linturi.
He called on the farmers to support the government saying that though they have been in office for only seven months, they have achieved much and hoped to do more things to benefit the country before their term expires.
“Don’t mind because the government is concerned about you. We are committed to getting the best prices for your wheat, maize and beans. In the next six months, I promise you that you will see more fruits,” he said.
The CS reiterated that the ministry will support all farmers in the country regardless of their political background, asking farmers to support the current administration so that they could serve them well.
“We are not biased against anyone. Given an enabling environment, we will work with all farmers to support them and ensure they live a decent life,” he added.
The agro vets that distribute sub-standard goods were also put on notice as the CS requested the farmers to speak out whenever they purchased any input that did not do well on their farms.
“Please do not keep quiet if your farm does not do well because of the input. Send us an SMS of the product you used, the batch number and company so that we can be able to eliminate the sub-standard goods from the market,” he said.
Joseph Nchoe, a large-scale farmer, thanked the current administration for the fertilizer subsidy saying the prices almost hit the Sh7, 000 during the previous administration.
“This is the planting season of the farmers in the Lower Mau area. The availability of subsidized fertilizer will boost our farming as we believe more farmers will dig their farms,” he said.
Another farmer Ms. Purity Dikirr said the subsidized fertilizer motivated farmers who had initially left the practice for other businesses to go back to farming.
She said even women were actively preparing their farms so as to plant during this rainy season as the government has assured that the subsidized fertilizer would continue being distributed.
By Ann Salaton