Ensure poor farmers get cheaper fertiliser


Workers arrange bags of subsidised fertilizer at the National Cereals and Produce Board depot in Elburgon, Nakuru County in this photo taken on October 11, 2022. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NMG

As the State prepares to roll out the supply of subsidised fertiliser, it’s critical that the commodity reaches small-scale farmers across the country.

Previously, the subsidised fertiliser scheme has been abused, with wealthy large-scale farmers and traders being the beneficiaries.

It is our hope that the Agriculture Ministry will supply the commodity to the deserving cases: poor farmers.

The commodity must also reach farmers across the breadth of Kenya given its importance in boosting food security, easing inflation and improving farmers’ earnings.

Farming accounts for a quarter of Kenya's annual economic output, but the high cost of fertilisers means farmers rely on subsidies or avoid using them, which hurts output.

The distribution of subsidised fertilisers is more critical this year in the wake of rising prices in world markets

The prices had surged in the last year due to countries like China, Russia and Turkey restricting exports as well as high demand from India, Brazil and the United States.

This clearly shows the negative impact of cutting off poor farmers from subsidised fertiliser through corruption.