By Amina Faki
Logistics problems have hindered the distribution of cheap government fertilizers from Mombasa to different parts of the country.
Even as the distribution has been delayed, most farmers had already paid for the fertilizer and they now camp at the depots for collection with the expectation utilizing the current rains in top dressing.
Apparently, 0nly 26,000 metric tons of Calcium Ammonia Nitrogen (CAN) have been distributed in the grain basket.
A 50Kg bag of subsidized fertilizer is selling at 1,800 shillings as opposed to 2,500 shillings market value. Due to high market value, farmers have relied on the subsidized fertilizer as it is cheap than what is sold at the market.
Farmers who use machinery for top dressing have been most hurt by the delay because the top dressing has to be done before the maize gets to a certain height.
According to Fredric Muhorela, a farmer from Cherengani in trans-Nzoia County, he paid for the CAN sometime back and he has made several trips to Mois’ Bridge depot for the past week without success.
It’s a norm that top dressing is done in May, the rains play a vital role during the exercise as they help in dissolving nutrients that are absorbed by the crops. The delays will lead to poor harvest, what does this mean for the Kenyan economy?
In the completion of the blending and manufacturing plant by Toyota in Eldoret, Kenya will eliminate imports in the coming years.
The first phase of the plant has been completed and now blends NPK which is being sold in the market. The second phase to include the production of DAP, Urea, and CAN.
Farmers have over the years been exposed to high fertilizer prices. The construction of a blending and manufacturing plant will end fertilizer shortages in the country.
The first batch of the cheap fertilizer has been loaded into wagons, according to an article in the business daily the fertilizer is expected to be in Eldoret this week.