Commodities

Ministry seeks suppliers in e-voucher farm inputs plan

fertiliser

Workers offloading fertliser from a truck. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Ministry of Agriculture has opened the door to agro-dealers in 25 counties to bid to supply inputs for the e-voucher system that will benefit 1.4 million households.
  • In a public notice, the ministry said the national value chain support programme(NVSP) is aimed at enhancing production of rice, Irish potatoes, coffee, green grams and sorghum.
  • It seek to enable smallholder farmers to transition from subsistence to commercial farming.

The Ministry of Agriculture has opened the door to agro-dealers in 25 counties to bid to supply inputs for the e-voucher system that will benefit 1.4 million households.

In a public notice, the ministry said the national value chain support programme(NVSP) is aimed at enhancing production of rice, Irish potatoes, coffee, green grams and sorghum. It seek to enable smallholder farmers to transition from subsistence to commercial farming.

“The ministry in collaboration with respective county governments is calling for expression of interest from agro-dealer services to supply quality inputs and services to participating farmers through the e-voucher system,” it said, adding that the applications should sent to the ministry headquarters.

The e-voucher system, currently operational in Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Embu, Kericho, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Bungoma, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kisumu, Trans Nzoia and Meru counties allows farmers to use their mobile phones to request for farm inputs which are supplied to them by approved local agro-dealers who in turn receive payments via mobile money.

The ambitious plan has potential to reverse dwindling fortunes for many families and agro-dealers who have suffered low returns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prospective agro-dealers, said the notice, must possess approvals from the Pests Control Products Board and from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service as well as from the Kenya revenue Authority.

All applicants, the notice added, will then be vetted at the county level before being roped in to provide inputs and services to small scale farmers enrolled in the programme.