Counties

Munya doubles cheap fertiliser quota to 40 bags

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Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

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Summary

  • Agriculture Cabinet secretary Peter Munya told the Business Daily that the numbers have been revised from 20 bags of 50-kilogramme that the ministry had announced earlier, coming as a boost to food production.
  • National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), which is distributing the product on behalf of the government, said it had received official communication from the ministry to increase the allocation to farmers.
  • Previously, the NCPB had declined to implement a roadside directive by Mr Munya to increase the number of bags of fertiliser to farmers, saying the decision had to be made in writing.

Maize farmers have received a reprieve after the Ministry of Agriculture doubled the number of bags that a grower can purchase under the subsidy programme to 40.

Agriculture Cabinet secretary Peter Munya told the Business Daily that the numbers have been revised from 20 bags of 50-kilogramme that the ministry had announced earlier, coming as a boost to food production.

“We have increased the number of bags from 20 to 40 so that farmers can benefit from this subsidy scheme,” he said.

National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), which is distributing the product on behalf of the government, said it had received official communication from the ministry to increase the allocation to farmers.

Previously, the NCPB had declined to implement a roadside directive by Mr Munya to increase the number of bags of fertiliser to farmers, saying the decision had to be made in writing.

Mr Munya said the subsidy will only be distributed to registered farmers, a move aimed at locking out unscrupulous business people who would buy and sell it to farmers.

The Sh5.7 billion set aside by the State will subsidise 2.28 million 50-kg bags of fertiliser for farmers growing food crops. These quantities will support the cultivation of 1.13 million acres with farmers paying Sh2,800 per bag compared to a market price of Sh6,400.

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

The Cabinet secretary said should the ministry get the Sh31 billion, the price of the planting fertiliser (Diammonium 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 surge in global fertiliser prices began at the beginning of 2021 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has worsened the situation.

The rise in prices is also due to producer countries such as China, Russia and Turkey restricting exports to protect their farmers compounded by heavy consumption demand from India, Brazil and US buying up large quantities, hence reducing available global supplies.

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