Trans Nzoia and ARM sign deal for subsidised fertiliser

Trans Nzoia has signed a deal with Athi River Mining Company, which will see farmers in the region get subsidised lime-based fertiliser to fight soil acidity.

Governor Patrick Khaemba said the pact was struck following improved maize production in the region after the use of lime-based Mavuno fertiliser.

“We are injecting Sh40 million into this to ensure farmers get this fertiliser at a subsidised price since we are fighting soil acidity caused by DAP fertiliser,” said Mr Khaemba.

The county chief said that the blended fertiliser would be specifically made to suit the region’s soil nutrients requirement following the findings of a recent analysis.

“From now henceforth we are not going to accept non-blended fertiliser to be sold in this county since we are fighting acidity,” said the governor.
Mr Khaemba also challenged the national government to ensure that lime is subsidised so that farmers who use DAP compound with it to curb acidity.

“The government should supply its subsidised fertilisers to regions in respect to the nutritional requirement. Every region has its specific nutritional requirement,” he said.

Farmers in the county realised 5.4 million bags higher than last year’s 4.7 million bags owing to the use the calcium rich fertiliser to curb acidity.

To address the acidity, the county government had earlier partnered with Athi River Mining in a Sh30 million pact that saw the firm supply 5,000 tonnes of fertiliser containing lime to fight high acidic levels which had been attributed to a diminishing maize production in the region.

“We subsidised the fertiliser and managed to distribute 29,959 bags of Mavuno planting fertiliser and 25,994 bags of top dressing fertiliser from the same firm,” said Mr Khaemba.

The governor also said there measures were in place to address 30 per cent of maize produce that is lost due to poor post-harvest management practices.

“We intend to establish seed driers in each of the five constituencies to assist farmers in drying their maize to avoid losses and contamination at the time of harvesting,” said the governor.

Last week, Mr Khaemba received results of a soil analysis conducted by Nairobi-based company Cropnuts for the county.