Farmers to get cheaper fertiliser via e-wallets

Imported fertiliser being loaded onto a lorry in Mombasa. PHOTO | POOL

Farmers will receive fertiliser subsidies for the main season through e-wallets as the government moves to curb theft and misappropriation by middlemen of the crucial planting material through the use of technology.

President William Ruto has directed the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that the technology to aid this process is ready by the end of the year.

The government had in 2020 rolled out the e-voucher programme in a pilot phase, but it was only directed to small-scale farmers in selected counties who received money through their mobile phones to purchase the farm inputs from approved agro vets.

“We are going to issue subsidies on digital platforms to stop brokers who have been giving us challenges in delivery,” said Dr Ruto.

He added that the first consignment of 300,000 tonnes of fertiliser meant for the long rains crop will be arriving in the country before the end of the year.

The President said the government has made all the necessary interventions to ensure that farmers get the fertiliser at an affordable price in order to boost production.

The Treasury allocated Sh3.6 billion for the fertiliser subsidy programme in September following a presidential directive to bring down the cost of the commodity by nearly half.

The Head of State in his inaugural speech in September promised the cost of fertiliser will be brought down to Sh3,500 to enable farmers to access it with ease to boost food security in the country.

The government had in April offered farmers a subsidy on fertiliser after the price shot to a historic high of Sh6,500 for a 50-kilogramme bag.

However, the programme was not effective due to the shortage of the commodity in the market, which saw some farmers plant without the supplement.

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