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State flags-off fertilisers

Farmers are set to benefit in the coming long rain season after the Agriculture Principal Secretary Paul Ronoh, flagged off the second consignment of 50,000 metric tonnes (1,000,00 bags of 50kgs) of fertilisers.

The farm inputs will be distributed at the National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB) and last-mile depots across the counties at a cost of Ksh 2,500 per 50-kg bag.

The PS for Agriculture Paul Ronoh flanked by PS for Investment, Abubakar Hassan (first Left) PS, PS for Transport, Mohammed Daghar (second left), and PS for Industry Juma Mukwana (Right)addressing journalists during the flagging off of the fertilizers at the port of Mombasa. Photo by Fatma Said.

Ronoh said that the consignment supplemented the initial distribution, resulting in a cumulative total of 4 million bags that were distributed to farmers in the first cohort.

Speaking at the Port of Mombasa, Ronoh said that through a multi-agency team, the Ministry will ensure that farmers get the right quality of fertilisers all the time.

“We have planned for 7.5. million bags for the long rains and 5 million bags for the short rains, totaling 12.5 million bags,” Ronoh said.

He emphasized that the individuals who were involved in the manufacturing and distribution of substandard fertilizers would face the full force of the law.

Juma Mukwana, PS Industry, assured that the fertiliser released is of the highest quality, and they encourage the farmers to use the right amount in a timely fashion.

“We urge farmers to utilise this fertiliser promptly and efficiently before the rains subside to ensure a bountiful harvest. This will enable us to attain sufficient maize production, thereby securing the necessary raw materials for our industries to produce flour,” Mukwana said.

Abubakar Hassan, PS Investment, said that the President made a shift in the country’s strategic intent, which informs the country’s strategic direction, which is four things; subsidising production, incentivizing value addition, widening and expanding the market base, and rescuing private investment.

He highlighted that the country’s current production capacity stands at 2.5 million bags, significantly below demand, necessitating the importation of over 10 million bags to sustain our subsidy programme.

“We are seeing many investor opportunities, and we are discussing with them whether they can manufacture here and create jobs here instead of importing,” Hassan said.

The PS for transport, Mohammed Daghar, said that this is the epicentre of how the government should work because this is an operational area where multi-agency collaboration is always demonstrated to ensure they deliver as one.

He said that they are determined to ensure the cargo is evacuated from the port in record time.

“We are going to use 47 waggons to Nairobi directly through the SGR to ensure the fertilisers are transported safely and in time,” Daghar said.

By Fatma Said

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