MPs allocate Sh4bn more for fertiliser support plan


Workers arrange bags of subsidised fertilizer at the National Cereals and Produce Board depot in Elburgon, Nakuru County. FILE PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NMG

MPs have proposed an additional Sh4 billion for buying cheap fertiliser in the upcoming financial year, raising the total allocation to Sh8.5 billion as part of the Kenya Kwanza administration’s efforts to lower the high cost of living.

The National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) is recommending to the House the increased allocation that will come as a boost to President William Ruto’s plan to boost food production. 

Read: Treasury hands farmers price shocker in 2023 Finance Bill

However, the allocation is still lower than the Sh13.3 billion that the fertiliser subsidy is allocated for the financial year ending this month.

The government is providing subsidised fertiliser in 12 counties that produce most of the country’s maize and other staple foods.

The fertiliser is being provided at a lower price of Sh3,500, nearly half of the prevailing market price.

“The Government working with the private sector has also made arrangements to make another six million bags of various types of fertilisers available for the long rains season,” said the National Treasury in the Budget Policy Statement.

At the beginning of the Financial Year 2022/23, the government removed fuel and maize subsidies but retained fertiliser support to reduce the cost of production.

Safaricom has been tapped to provide the platform for the subsidy programme, allowing more than 10 million farmers to use the telco’s platform.

E-subsidy is an electronic voucher that uses data and SMS to manage the issuing, redemption and reconciliation of vouchers on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Read: Blow to farmers as fertiliser subsidy missing in budget

Farmers were issued e-vouchers through their mobile phones after validation by extension officers.

The previous administration stopped the fertiliser subsidy it was issuing through NCPB three years ago in favour of the e-voucher.

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