Agriculture PS Harry Kimutai said the government is working hard to roll out various programs that will ensure farmers have access to fertilizer and tame the ever-escalating cost of the farm input.
Speaking on Tuesday during the launch of the new Africa Fertilizer website, the PS said the government has put in place various measures including the development of the national soil fertility management policy that will regulate and provide guidelines on how farmers use fertilizer to boost the country’s food security.
‘’Our Constitution gives us the mandate to ensure every Kenyan is free from hunger and has adequate food of acceptable quality. To feed our people, we need to put in place strategies that will ensure that we can feed our people sustainably and the factors of production are optimally within the reach of our producers,’’ the PS said.
Besides sensitizing farmers on the use of fertilizer, Kimutai said that the government is planning to introduce the e-voucher system to ensure farmers access fertilizer without having to rely on physical interaction.
“Through the e-voucher system, farmers will get information through their phones and will be able to go to whichever agro vet and pick their fertilizer and go and plant,’’ he said.
The PS said through collaborative efforts with various bodies the ministry of agriculture has progressively made good progress in addressing issues related to soil fertility. He noted that efficient and effective use of fertilizer can contribute to more than 30 percent of the country’s crop yields highlighting the important role of fertilizer in enhancing agricultural production.
Kimutai attributed the high cost of fertilizer to the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, and other global pressures including the Russia-Ukraine war which disrupted the shipping of the commodity from key markets, setting the stage for a price jump.
He termed the Russia-Ukraine tension as a challenge for the government to make provisions to ensure the country has an affordable supply of fertilizer. To help this, the PS said his ministry has been running various interventions including emergency subsidy programs, besides providing and enabling an environment for businesses and the space to respond quickly in a bid to ensure farmers continue with their ventures uninterrupted.
The government is keen on developing more interventions to support farmers in the country by providing appropriate and credible information on the Ministry of Agriculture’s official website.
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