New digital fertiliser platform to boost farming in counties

Yara East Africa’s senior commercial manager, Vitalis Wafula speaks in Trans Nzoia County
Yara East Africa’s senior commercial manager, Vitalis Wafula speaks in Trans Nzoia County. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Farmers in 22 counties are set to benefit from a digital fertiliser distribution platform, which will also provide key information on agriculture.

The Sh800 million programme rolled out by Yara East Africa will also offer farmers digital communication platforms that will equip them with best maize practices to boost yields.

The plan, dubbed Action Africa: Thriving Farms, Thriving Future , aims to strengthen food security through local farming solutions.

Speaking while launching the initiative at the Ministry of Agriculture grounds in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County, Yara East Africa senior commercial manager Vitalis Wafula said digital solutions are key to improved farming productivity and profitability.

“The initiative will offer advocacy, farming digital solutions, and 13,000 metric tonnes of high-quality fertilisers with zinc to farmers in 22 counties, including Bura and Hola state farms. The fertiliser contribution, is expected to triple maize production and boost food security in the country," Mr Wafula said.


The initiative, he noted will equip farmers with best farming practices, hence boosting food production amidst the uncertainties brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are distributing the fertilisers through the digital platform…locating 100 farmers per ward on the first-come-first-serve basis," Mr Wafula said.

The counties that are set to benefit from the programme are Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Vihiga, Siaya, Homa-Bay, Migori and Nyamira.

Others are Narok, Bomet, Trans-Nzoia, Nandi, Machakos, Makueni, Kitui, Kiambu, Muranga, Embu, Tharaka-Nithi, Meru, Taita-Taveta and Tana-River.

Mr Wafula added that each farmer will be given a code that they will present to an agro-dealer in order to receive the fertiliser.

"The code will be verified and then the farmer will receive the three-bags of fertiliser of 50kg for planting and top dressing,” he noted.

In Trans-Nzoia County, over 2,500 smallholder maize farmers in 25 wards will get top dressing fertiliser and benefit from capacity building through digital information.

Mr Wafula added that agricultural transformation is critical in eliminating poverty through increased farm production, knowledge sharing and application technologies.

Trans Nzoia County Governor Patrick Khaemba said his administration is offering innovative extension practices to farmers while encouraging them to grow crops of high nutritious value.

“We seek to empower the vulnerable farmers to feed themselves to a point where they will improve food quality and production as we continue to implement the Action Africa Initiative. The rains have been good and let us partner with Yara to ensure the demonstration plots are increased.”

He urged farmers to adopt new farming technologies to boost production and livelihoods as well as avert hunger.

“We need a new approach and new knowledge in managing the resources we have. We are placed in a strategic position as the food basket region in contributing to food security in Kenya," Mr Khaemba said.

In the North Rift, 6000 farmers will receive 18,000 bags of fertiliser valued at Sh55 million.