The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has signed an agreement with Soil Health Limited to distribute bio-fertilizer to improve crop yields and boost food security.
Shubhodaya Mycorrhizal Bio-fertilizer, made in India but distributed and marketed locally by Soil health Ltd targets farmers whose soils have high acidity and equally lack key nutrients.
In a press release today by the NCPB, , they will use its extensive countrywide network to distribute the bio-fertilizer on behalf of Soil Health.
The Bio-fertilizers improve availability of plant nutrients to the roots through association and are also free-living bio-organisms that fix nutrients in the soil.
Concerns have been there before with agriculture stakeholders decrying over poor soil health which has resulted to reduced yields.
Government released a national soil health status report many years ago that detailed the position of soils in the country saying that most of the soils are acidic and equally have been over used resulting in gricultural production.
“Bio-fertilizers improve availability of plant nutrients to the roots through association and are also free living bio-organisms that fix nutrients in the soil” NCPB MD Joseph Kimote said .
Signing the agreement in his office this week together with Soil Health MD Jigar Chokshi, he explained that as a way of creating awareness for the product, Fertiliser Companies will roll out a vigorous campaign to market the organic fertilizer to farmers.
This is besides deploying agronomists to aid NCPB staff in advising farmers on the use of the soil -healing fertilizer.
According to Kimote, the non-chemical-based fertilizer enhances yields by up to 25 per cent and offers up to 50 per cent reduction in chemical fertilizer application.
Shubhodaya fertilizer conditions the soil, improves soil structure and texture and is also non-toxic in addition to being eco-friendly, non-hazardous and control pathogenic organisms.
The bio-fertilizer which has been approved by both KEPHIS and KALRO is suitable for a variety of crops like, tea, coffee, mangoes, avocadoes as well as maize, wheat, soyabeans, groundnuts, green grams, beans and other horticultural crops.
Shubhodaya Mycorrhizal Bio-fertilizer is available in NCPB stores and is retailing at ksh 550 per kg with farmers being encouraged to use the bio-fertilizer to improve their soils and increase their yields.
By Wangari Ndirangu