Farmers in Migori County have expressed fears that the delayed distribution of subsidized fertilizers will severely affect their crop production in the coming season.
Many of the farmers across the county have already prepared their lands awaiting July rains to plant their seeds.
Consequently, the farmers are now urging both the county and national government to speed up the process for them to benefit from the project.
The County Secretary for Agriculture Valentine Ogongo however, pointed out that the fertilizer subsidised programme has always been carried out by the national government.
He stated that the national government saw it fit to buy the fertilizer in bulk which was cheaper as opposed to every county having their own importation which could have been costly to the counties.
He however, explained that the delay has been caused by the Kenya Integrated Agricultural Management Information System (KIAMIS) that was being rolled out across the county.
Kenya Integrated Agricultural Management Information System (KIAMIS) is a mechanism for integration of all information, technological and communication platforms from the agricultural research ecosystem. The system will be a one-stop shop for all information and knowledge related to agricultural research.
Ogongo acknowledged that the system has not been rolled out in Nyanza region hence the delay of the subsidized fertilizer. He urged the farmers to be patient and promised that the county will notify them on the availability of the subsidized fertilizer.
But on their part, the farmers argued that buying fertilizers from private distribution stores is very expensive and with the Covid 19 pandemic many have been financially affected.
Kenya Integrated Agricultural Management Information System aims to improve accessibility, processing, storage, sharing and dissemination of agricultural knowledge and information.
The system will equip farmers in accessing farm inputs at a subsidized cost, the correct quantities usage and correct time of application. KIAMIS will also provide information on the best quality of fertilizers and seeds that has been certified to farmers.
By Geoffrey Makokha