The government has committed to subsidize a total of 500,000MT of various types of fertilizer for the 2023 long rains to ensure that the targeted farmers access cheaper fertilizer at subsidized prices.
Speaking during a media briefing, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mithika Linturi said that to implement this, the ministry has embarked on the digitization of farmers to ensure that all registered farmers have efficient access to fertilizers. So far, 4.3m farmers have been registered.
The CS also noted that to access the Government subsidized fertilizers, a farmer must be digitally registered and the digital registration is ongoing at the Assistant Chief’s offices countrywide.
“Digitization, a key plank of the government’s agenda, is not only important for efficiency but to also enhance traceability, accountability and transparency in fertilizer distribution,” he said.
In a speech read on his behalf by Principal Secretary (PS) State Department for Crop Development Phillip Kello Harsama, the CS said registered farmers could access fertilizer at KNTC and NCPB stores countrywide at a maximum rate of Sh3500 per bag of 50kg planting fertilizer.
The fast-tracked farmer registration exercise began on 6th January 2023 and is continuous.
“The programme will continue until the onset of the long rains 2023 and until such a time when food prices in the country will be stable and fertilizer prices affordable,” he added.
To date, 1431 farmers across the country have been able to access fertilizers, in the counties of Narok, Nakuru, Migori, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Nandi, Kericho, Bomet, Kakamega, Bungoma, Elgeyo Marakwet.
The Ministry appeals to farmers requiring fertilizers in the long rains dependent areas to visit the nearest NCPB or KNTC depot or sub-depot to access the subsidized fertilizer.
This measure is predicated on the recognition of high agricultural productivity as one of the key drivers to achieving 100% national food and nutrition security. It is estimated that if used well, fertilizer use could increase food and cash crop yields by up to 50%.
By Hamdi Mohamud