Farmers can now access subsidized fertilizer by visiting the nearest National Cereals and Produce Board depots within their regions, following the distribution of over 300,000 50kg bags of Kenya Government subsidized DAP planting fertilizer for sale to registered farmers in various parts of the country.
By David Kipkorir
In a press release, the board revealed that the subsidized fertilizer is retailing at Sh3,500 per 50kg bag.
“The fertilizer is part of the total 1.4 million bags of different varieties of fertilizers is to cater for the 2022-2023 short rains season,” read the press release.
“By distributing the fertilizer with support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, the board is implementing the Presidential directive on the provision of subsidized planting fertilizer to farmers for the short rains season, to boost food security. The program was publicly set in motion by Deputy President, Rigathi Gachagua, on September 22, 2022,” said NCPB managing director (MD) Joseph Kimote.
Distribution of fertilizer
Mr Kimote expounded that while the distribution of DAP planting fertilizer is ongoing; plans are underway to distribute CAN/Urea top-dressing fertilizers and agricultural lime to farmers.
“To infuse inclusivity into the supply and distribution of subsidized fertilizer, the Board has invited bids from manufacturers and distributors of fertilizers to supply both soil and crop specific fertilizer blends for planting and topdressing. These distribution of the fertilizers will fall under the subsidy program,” explained Kimote.
The MD emphasized that the crop-specific fertilizer blends will also benefit registered tea and coffee farmers, who are not covered under the KTDA and the New KPCU distribution frameworks.
He said the board is working closely with the Council of Governors (CoG) to enhance distribution of the subsidized fertilizer by bringing it closer to farmers at the grassroots through the counties’ outlets.
“In this regard, the board will open county government-supported satellite-selling centers nearer to farmers for ease of access,” said Kimote.
He added as the CoG works to ensure efficiency in the registration of farmers, NCPB in consultation with local leadership is sensitizing farmers on the ongoing fertilizer distribution.
Working with farmers and the public
“Further, the board is constantly interacting with farmers and other members of the public through social media and vernacular radio station engagements to enhance the uptake of the subsidized fertilizer. We, therefore, urge farmers to register with their respective ward Agricultural Officers so that they can benefit from the government subsidized fertilizer”, said Kimote.
The managing director revealed that the CoG and their respective county administrators are critical partners in oversighting the subsidized fertilizer distribution exercise, while the national government administration officers (NGAO), are monitoring the exercise and providing overall security for the program.
The Board procures and distributes subsidized fertilizer on behalf of the government, a move which has greatly increased yields in the country.
During his inauguration speech, President William Ruto lowered the prices of fertilizer from Sh6, 500 for a 50-kilogram bag to Sh3, 500.
President Ruto noted that the new prices would come into effect immediately as his administration works on transforming the agricultural sector in the country.
He condemned the practice of hoarding used to increase the prices of commodities and called upon the county governments to ensure fertilizer is available to local farmers.
“For the short rains, we have already made arrangements to make 1.4 million bags of fertilizers available at Sh3, 500 for a 50 kg bag – down from Sh6, 500,” he announced.