KENYA – Apart from working with the private sector to import 300,000 metric tonnes (6 million bags) of fertilizer, the government of Kenya has also signed another agreement with local private companies to supply the locally manufactured farm input in this planting season at an affordable price.
Under the agreement, SBL Company, which is involved in organic fertilizer production, will use Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) and National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) stores to reach out to the farmers.
According to SBL General Manager James Mukono, the new venture aims to address the current shortage of fertilizer in the market.
He added that the organic fertilizer is going for Ksh 1,700 per 25kg bag and it can be used for planting or top dressing for all kinds of crops.
Mukono noted that the high levels of silica in the organic fertilizer were good for water retention, adding that the current product was readily available and affordable in the market.
“We have decided to work with government agencies as our products have undergone the necessary tests and are certified by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS),” he said.
The company’s director Joe Kariuki said their products are also currently being sold even in neighboring countries. He boasted is because of their quality and affordable prices.
According to Kariuki, the SBL company expanded its capability to reach a production of around 3m-4m bags per year as demand for organic fertilizer continued to rise.
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.
However, in the 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 government said this year it has increased the fertilizer subsidy to a total budget of Kshs 5.03 billion to cater to a bigger number of farmers to improve the country’s productivity.
To deliver subsidized fertilizers and influence agricultural policies, the government initiated a nationwide campaign to register farmers.
The goal of the operation was to develop a digitalized national farmer record that will make it easier to spot rogue traders and impostors who have been taking advantage of farmers by accessing and reselling subsidized fertilizers at higher costs.
The ready-made database will give farmers managed access to government programs and enhance openness, accountability, and traceability in the operation of fertilizer subsidy schemes.
To ensure efficient delivery and effective control mechanisms are in place, the fertilizers will be availed through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) Depots and Sub-depots country-wide. Individual farmers will be entitled to a maximum of 100 × 50kg bags of fertilizer.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said that farmers in Narok, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Migori, Kakamega, Bomet, Kericho, Elgeyo Marakwet and Nandi counties already had access to the fertilizers at the NCPB depots.
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