Nakuru farmers are set to benefit from 46 million shillings subsidized for planting and cover fertilizer.
The county government, in conjunction with the national government, purchased 74,533 1kg packets of bio-fertilizer.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the purchase will protect farmers from the high cost of fertilizer. The governor said registered farmers can buy fertilizer from the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) at 3,000 shillings.
The initial cost of the fertilizer sold for between 6,000 and 6,500 shillings per 50kg, but large-scale farmers say this decision is still not good enough.
James Bowen, a prominent farmer from Rongai, said The standard he needs more than 500 bags of fertilizer, which cannot be used by the NCPB.
Mr Bowen said the government intervention came late, as many farmers have already planted.
“Farmers have endured the pain of buying fertilizer for over 6,000 shillings since March. It’s a bit late to cut prices now,” Mr Bowen said.
Joseph Kipkoech, also a farmer, said he was only allowed to buy five bags of fertilizer from NCPB.
Mr Kipkoech said he was forced to buy the rest of the bags he needed elsewhere at over 5,600 shillings. “I have received the news that the top-dressing fertilizer will be available and I hope I will take advantage of it,” he said.
Jane Njeri, a small-scale farmer from Bahati, said the move would help farmers. She said it was time for farmers to benefit from subsidized fertilizer after suffering for a long time.
The county’s decision comes two months after affordable Microp fertilizer was introduced by Yara East Africa at 5,300 shillings per 50kg.
The company has partnered with Corteva and the African Connect Digital (ACPD) program to educate farmers on the efficacy of the product, which they claim will increase yields.
The product was launched to help farmers double their production.
In April, the government injected 5.7 billion shillings to subsidize fertilizer prices. Agriculture CS Peter Munya said a bag of DAP which used to sell for Sh6,000 will now go for Sh2,800, Urea (from Sh6,500 to Sh2,700), CAN (from Sh3,900 to Sh1,950), NPK (from Sh4,900 to Sh3,000) and MOP will increase from Sh3,800 to Sh2,500.