Kenya to provide farmers some 138,000 tonnes of subsidized fertilizers in 2016
20 May 2016, 21:16
Nairobi (Xinhua) -- Kenya announced Thursday said it will provide 137,926 metric tonnes of subsidized fertilizers to small-scale farmers.
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Permanent Secretary Dr Richard Lesiyampe told a media briefing in Nairobi that the fertilizer subsidy program will expand access of the critical input to farmers in the country.
"The fertilizer will enable Kenya to achieve food security through increased food production," Lesiyampe said. "We will ensure that the fertilizer is distributed before the beginning of the planting season in order to have maximum impact."
He said that the fertilizer subsidy program caters for 30 percent of all fertilizer used in the country.
The East African nation initiated the program in 2009 in order to stabilize fertilizer prices that were beyond the reach of small-scale farmers.
The PS said that since the introduction of the program, the cost of fertilizer has reduced from 60 U.S. dollars to 30 dollars for a 50 kilogram bag in the open market.
In order to improve the effectiveness of the subsidy program, the government will improve oversight to ensure that only the needy farmers access the cheap fertilizer.
"There have been incidences of abuse where unscrupulous traders have been discovered repacking or adulterating the fertilizer," Lesiyampe said.
"So far this year, we have intercepted 10,000 bags of fertilizer in the wrong hands," he added.