Economy

Large-scale farmers locked out of cheap fertiliser deal

munya

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • Mr Munya announced on Friday that farmers will now pay Sh2,800 for a 50-kilo DAP fertiliser, down from Sh6,400 after a meeting at State House.
  • Small-scale farmers have been considered the most critical segment when it comes to food security in the country.
  • The Sh5.7 billion set aside by the State will subsidise 2,280,000 bags of 50kg bags for farmers growing food crops.

Large-scale farmers have been locked out of the Sh5.7 billion fertiliser subsidy after the Ministry of Agriculture limited the number of bags to 10 per grower.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said farmers will be allowed to buy five bags of planting and top dressing fertilisers each to benefit large number of growers following a cost reduction that will see a single bag drop by 56 percent.

Mr Munya announced on Friday that farmers will now pay Sh2,800 for a 50-kilo DAP fertiliser, down from Sh6,400 after a meeting at State House.

A farmer requires a 50 kilogramme bag to plant an acre and the same quantity for top dressing, implying that the five bags will only be enough for five acres.

Small-scale farmers have been considered the most critical segment when it comes to food security in the country.

“We will be limiting the number of bags to 10 per farmer so that it can reach many of them,” said Mr Munya.

The Sh5.7 billion set aside by the State will subsidise 2,280,000 bags of 50kg bags for farmers growing food crops.

These quantities will support the cultivation of 1.13 million acres. Mr Munya said farmers will start accessing the fertiliser from Saturday across all the National Cereals and Produce Board depots.

The intervention comes a few days after farmers started planting this year’s main crop following the onset of rains.

Mr Munya told Parliament in March that his ministry needed at least Sh31.8 billion to effectively offer the subsidy to farmers.

Mr Munya said should the ministry get the Sh31 billion the price of the planting fertiliser (Diamonium Phosphate) would drop to Sh2,800.

Fertiliser for maize farmers was not included in the current budget, however, other crops such as coffee and tea received Sh1 billion each with sugar getting Sh1.5 billion.

The global high fertiliser prices started at the beginning of 2021 due to the impact of Covid-19 and worsened when Russia invaded Ukraine.

[email protected]