Kirinyaga county farmers are upbeat about the subsidized fertiliser as they turned up in large numbers to register for the purchase of the commodity.
According to the county department of agriculture 17,000 farmers have already registered in the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) database with the number expected to rise at the conclusion of the ongoing farmers’ registration exercise.
During the County Assembly inaugural sitting, Governor Anne Waiguru reiterated her administration’s commitment to supporting farmers to maximise their agricultural production.
Once they are registered, the farmers are supposed to make their requisition and pay for the commodity after which the department of agriculture collates the data from various farmers and transports them from NCPB deport to ward centres for collection by individual farmers.
“To promote agriculture, we are at the forefront of lobbying for subsidised farm inputs to reduce the cost of production and enable farmers to get better returns. We have already secured over 25,000 bags of fertiliser in our NCPB stores this month and we are in the course of distributing it to our farmers through our agricultural extension offices”, said the governor.
Farmers are looking forward to receiving the fertiliser in the hope that it will help them get better harvests in the coming season.
Albert Njeru from Njukii-ini ward thanked the government for the reduction of the price of DAP from Sh6,500 to Sh3,500 saying it would go a long way in enabling farmers to get better harvests in the coming season.
He also acknowledged governor Waiguru’s commitment to making it easy for farmers to get the fertiliser by distributing it to the ward levels.
“We thank the government for fulfilling the promise by reducing the cost of fertiliser. We are also happy because our governor Anne Waiguru has taken bold steps to ensure the fertiliser reach ward level which will ease transportation by lowering the cost of transportation to our farms,” Njeru said.
Magdaline Maina, a farmer from Kanyeki-ini said that the subsidised commodity will enable her to expand the area of land that she has been tilling which will in turn increase harvest and fetch better income.
“We have come here to register for the subsidised fertiliser and once we receive it we shall expand our crop production,” she said.
The farmers also thanked the President for fulfilling his election pledge on subsidised fertilisers saying that smallholder farmers are pivotal in stimulating economic growth at the grassroots
The ongoing registration at the ward levels requires a farmer to prove land ownership and the size of the land and the bags they would require to buy. Registered farmers also have the option of walking into the NCPB depot and personally collecting the fertiliser.
The rising cost of farm inputs such as fertilisers has however made many farmers shy away from crop farming, but with interventions such as subsidised fertiliser, more farmers are expected to increase agricultural production.
By Mutai Kipngetich