KENYA – In a bid to achieve its plan of food security and self-reliance, the Government of Kenya is working with the private sector to import 300,000 metric tonnes (6 million bags) of fertilizer of which 136,446 metric tonnes are expected between January 21 and February 1.

The Kenyan government is committed to reducing the price of fertilizer to actualize its pledge to avail more subsidized fertilizer to farmers as part of its strategy to bring down food prices.

The price of planting fertilizer had hit a high of over Sh6,500 while CAN, which is used for top dressing, was between Sh6,000 and Sh7,000 depending on the outlets, while urea was over Sh7,000 per 50 kg bag.

In September last year, the National Treasury released Sh3.6 billion for subsidized fertilizer, in line with President William Ruto’s directive.

Under the new subsidy scheme, DAP fertilizer will cost Sh3,500, CAN Sh2,875, UREA-Sh3,500, NPK- Sh3,275, and Sulphate of Ammonia will cost Sh2, 220.

The fertilizer will be distributed through the National Cereals Board depots and sub-depots countrywide. 1.2 million farmers will be targeted in the first phase of the program.

President Ruto also announced that the government will soon register all farmers to weed out brokers and middlemen during the distribution of fertilizer and seed.

“We will register all farmers. We want farmers to let us know the sizes of their farms and the amount of fertilizer they need and when,” he explained.

He further said the government has identified 1,800 stockists across the country whom farmers will purchase fertilizer from. “We don’t want farmers to travel long distances to purchase fertilizer.”

Additionally, President William Ruto’s Government is rolling out a fertilizer subsidy program to cushion farmers and address the challenges of input thefts that marred the previous processes.

Among beneficiaries of the subsidized fertilizer are smallholder tea farmers affiliated with KTDA, which last year ordered a total of 88,000 metric tonnes.

This was equivalent to 1.76 million bags of 50kgs of the NPK 26:5:5 chemically compounded fertilizer procured from Russia to be delivered in two consignments with the first coming in last month.

KTDA Holdings chairman David Ichoho noted that the fertilizer has been imported in a challenging logistical environment occasioned by the Russia-Ukraine war and the agency is grateful to the government for helping in smoothening the process.

The value of fertilizer purchased increased by 26.4 percent to Sh20.5 billion in 2021, the Economic Survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicates.

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