Farmers go slow on subsidy fertiliser over DAP shortage


A worker caries fertiliser at the NCPB depot in Eldoret on April 4. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG

A shortage of DAP fertiliser at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB)- a favourite for many farmers, may affect the uptake of the subsidy programme as growers insist on this type ahead of the planting season.

NCPB is mainly supplying farmers with NPK, Mavuno, and OCP among other types that are readily available but farmers want DAP- a flagship brand for planting due to its perceived good performance.

NCPB argues that the alternative brands have the same formulation as the DAP and give good yields, therefore farmers should embrace them.

Kenya Farmers Association director Kipkorir Menjo asked the government to avail fertiliser that producers are used to.

“We urge NCPB to provide farmers with the type of fertiliser that they need for their planting,” said Mr Menjo.

The government is supplying assorted fertilisers under the Sh5.7 billion subsidy programme that has lowered the cost from Sh6,000 to Sh2,800 for a 50 kilogramme bag.

However, with DAP conspicuously missing, some growers have opted to purchase from agrovets at exorbitant costs.

“Farmers should purchase Mavuno, NPK and other brands that we are offering. These work the same way as DAP because they share the same formulation,” said an official at the NCPB.

DAP has for a long time been blamed for increasing acidity in the soil, which has compromised productivity on farms.

The government has been discouraging farmers on continuous use of this type of fertiliser and encouraging the use of other varieties such as NPK.

The Sh5.7 billion will subsidise 2,280,000 bags for farmers growing food crops. These quantities will support the cultivation of 1.13 million acres of land.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya announced on Monday that the number of bags that farmers can purchase has been revised to 20 from 10 bags that the ministry had announced on Friday, coming as a major boost to food production.

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