NCPB’s fertiliser subsidy targets to boost food security
Posted Thursday, June 28 2012 at 20:30
Grain farmers are to receive 600,000 bags of subsidised fertiliser imported by the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to increase crop production and boost food security..
The board has imported an additional 400,000 metric tons of Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN) and Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN) to cushion farmers from the high cost of farm inputs.
“The fertiliser is available at NCPB stores countrywide for farmers who want to plant during the short rains and for next season’s planting,” said Gideon Misoi, the board’s managing director.
“The board also has a stock of 200,000 bags of CAN and 10,000 bags of SSP making it easier for farmers to acquire the commodities at affordable rates,” said Prof Misoi.
A 90-kilogramme DAP is selling at Sh2,450 and CAN Sh 1,500 in most retail shops in parts of the North Rift.
The cost of Urea is Sh1,750 and SSP Sh2,300 but the prices are expected to increase once the planting period starts due to increased demand.
“Erratic climate contributed to decline in maize and wheat production in the South Rift region especially last season,” said Prof Misoi.
But maize prices have declined in most parts of the North Rift region with the produce going at Sh2,700, down from 3,400 in Eldoret following the flooding of market with the commodity.
The price of maize has gone down from Sh3,800 to Sh3,200 in Kisumu and Sh3,200 to Sh2,700 in Nakuru due to importation of the produce and harvest of alternative food crops.
The decline has also been attributed to influx of grains from southern African countries.
The entry of imported grains is expected to translate into cheaper maize flour prices that had hit the roof making it impossible for most households to afford the source of stable food for most households.
Maize flour prices had increased to Sh150 for two kilogrammes in June while a 90 kg bag of maize was selling at Sh4,800 due to acute shortage of the commodity.
Wheat prices have also declined from Sh3,300 to Sh2,800 in Eldoret as farmers continue to harvest this season’s produce.
Also on the decline are the cost of vegetables with a bag of cabbages selling at Sh1,300 down from Sh1,700 and kales (sukuma wiki) going at Sh280 down from Sh500 following increased production of the crop in Kerio valley.