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Ministry to conduct semi-organic fertilizer trials in Kericho

The ministry of agriculture has identified Kericho County as the first location that will be used to carry out trials on the use of semi organic fertilizer whose composition will be 50 per cent organic and 50 per cent chemical.

The agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mr Mithika Linturi while speaking Thursday in Kericho, said that the government had identified a supplier and issued out a permit to enable the supplier to bring into the country the maize fertilizer from a neighbouring country.

Mr Linturi who was accompanied by the newly appointed Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) for agriculture Mr Jackson Kiptanui, and the Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said that samples on the semi organic fertilizer from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Kenya Agricultural and livestock Research (KALRO) and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has indicated that the maize fertilizer was good and it increases maize production by 49 per cent.

Mr Linturi said that cereals depots where the government subsidized fertilizers are stored across the counties in the maize growing zones will be opened from 6.30 am in the morning to 6.30 pm in the evening, from Monday to Sunday, this he said was to enable farmers access the government subsidized fertilizers which is selling at Sh 3, 500 per 50 Kgs bag.

The agriculture CS assured the maize farmers that enough maize fertilizer will be stocked at the national cereals depot to enable them to purchase the fertilizer at ease.

Mr Linturi said that they had also stocked enough fertilizer in the depots for other crops including tea fertilizer for the farmers.

The agriculture CS said that digitization of the farmers across the country was ongoing and noted that the target number of farmers in the country has not been achieved. The agriculture CS urged all farmers to register for the government to adequately plan for their production and identify market for their produce.

The CS said the registration of farmers in the country was being carried out by the national government administration officers, the NGAO being the Chiefs and assistant chiefs at the sub location level.

Kericho Deputy Governor engineer Fred Kirui said that the Safaricom network being used by the national cereals and produce board NCPB to serve farmers at times fails and the farmers who received the text messages cannot be served faster as required.

Eng Kirui also told the CS that the access road to the Kericho depot had been blocked and allocated to private developers and it should be reverted back to the government. He noted that the location of Kericho NCPB cannot be easily located by the Kericho residents and farmers, adding that the road needs to be reopened for public use.

The Kericho deputy governor appealed to the agriculture CS to supply more fertilizers including top dressing fertilizer to the Kericho region now that the onset of long rains was being reutilized. He urged farmers in Kericho to plant and produce more food crops.

By Dominic Cheres

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