Hunger in the Offing: Farmers To Miss Subsidized Fertilizer as Planting Season Knocks

By Soko Directory Team / Published January 28, 2019 | 9:42 am





Maize farmers might not receive subsidized fertilizer from the government during the forthcoming planting season.

The government, through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), hinted the possibility of not purchasing fertilizers, attributing it to “some errors in the contract.”

In the past, the government has been offering subsidized fertilizer to maize farmers at a much lower price compared to the prevailing market prices.

Lucky farmers would receive the subsidized fertilizer from the government at between 2,400 and 2,800 shillings.

Last season, the government was blamed for ordering the subsidized fertilizer late leading to thousands of farmers remaining behind.

The Attorney General Paul Kihara has admitted on having advised the ministry of Agriculture not to proceed with the procurement of close to 150,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer citing failure to adhere to procurement procedures when an initial tender was issued in 2017.

The Attorney General is said to have pointed out that the taxpayer could lose billions of shillings if the ministry went ahead to procure fertilizer.

“We advise that the ministry considers alternative options to procure the required fertilizer in accordance with the law,” said the Attorney General.

The Cabinet Secretary of Agriculture Mwangi Kiunjuri also hinted on the possibility of lack of much-needed commodity due to challenges in procurement.

As the fertilizer issue pops up, farmers are yet to sell their 2018 produce to NCPB, some still holding on to their 2017 harvest due to a shortage of market.

Protests in Uasin Gishu County

Farmers in Uasin Gishu County protested the decision by the government to slash the quantity of maize they can supply to NCPB which was stated to be not more than 400 bags from one farmer. The vetting conditions are meant to lock out traders from selling maize to the board.

In a circular to NCPB depots, the Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund said Uasin Gishu farmers could only supply 328,610 bags and not 716,802 as had been announced before.

The purchase of maize has not begun two weeks after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to the cereals board.

Senior NCPB managers cited logistical challenges and were forced to deploy additional staff at depots in the North Rift region to help speed up maize purchase from farmers.

The price for a 90-kilogram bag is set to be 2,500 shillings as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

ALSO READ:  NCPB To Buy Only 400 Bags of Maize Per Farmer

ALSO READ: Government’s Negligible Increase of Maize Prices to KShs. 2500 Not Enough for Farmers




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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