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Gov’t keen to address the rising cost of fertilizers

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has said that the government will require Sh 31 billion to revert the rising cost of fertiliser back to where it was in 2021.

While reassuring farmers that the government is addressing the rising cost of farm inputs especially fertiliser, Munya said that the problem was not unique to Kenyan farmers, but countries which relied on imported farm inputs were facing a similar predicament.

“The government is looking at ways and means of addressing the situation. The problem is that the cost of fertiliser is very high. We do not have sufficient phosphate deposits in the country so we have to rely on Russia, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia to get fertilisers. There was the Covid-19 disruption which was followed by a war that has resulted in increased transport logistics which have also increased the cost of shipping,” said Munya while speaking in Nyeri County.

In early March this year, the ministry predicted that the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine would push the cost of a 50 kilogram bag of fertiliser to Sh 7,000. Currently 50 kilogram of Diamonium Phosphate fertiliser is Sh 6000.The cost is a Sh 2000 increase in price from 2021 when DAP was retailing at Sh 4000 per 50 kilogram bag.

The CS noted that the government had been able to sustain the fuel, maize,coffee and potato subsidy programmes due to prior preparation during the budget making process.

Coffee farmers are the latest beneficiaries on the government’s input programme where they only pay 60 per cent for the inputs through the E-subsidy programme which was launched in January this year.

“These are small budgets for us but we are asking ourselves if it is possible to subsidise all these products at once. This is the conversation we require to have between treasury and parliament and not a conversation the Ministry of Agriculture can handle on its own,” said the CS.

By Wangari Mwangi

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