Cereals board dismisses reports of fertiliser subsidy programme

RIFT VALLEY |

The Managing director National Cereals and Produce Board(NCPB) Joseph Kimote, making his remarks during the awarding of ISO 9001:2015 certification at Sarova Panafric Hotel on  August 26, 2021, in Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) will not sell or distribute any government subsidised fertiliser ahead of the next planting season from March.

The board yesterday distanced itself from information circulating in the social media urging farmers to register for assorted types of planting and top dressing fertiliser that will be made available by the board at subsidised prices of between Sh1,800 and Sh2,400 per 50 kg bag.

The board, in a statement, clarified that it is currently dealing with commercial fertiliser, which it sells through its depots in a free and open manner.

The NCPB Managing Director Joseph Kimote, said the board warned farmers and members of the public not to fall for the scam and avoid registrating.

“The board’s attention has been drawn to fake news circulating on social media regarding the distribution of subsidised fertiliser.

NCPB wishes to set the record straight that the board will not be selling or distributing any government subsidised fertiliser other than the e-voucher subsidy program together with other players in the private sector,” read part of the statement.

The information circulating in the social media seen by The Standard and which NCPB has dismissed as a scam, calls on interested wheat, maize and tea farmers to apply for fertiliser acquisition for the 2022 planting season.

“The Ministry of Agriculture through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) is now calling for applications from interested farmers for fertiliser acquisition for the 2022 planting season.

“The fertiliser will be procured in January and be distributed from February 11, 2022 in selected NCPB stores,” reads the information on social media, which have since been dismissed by NCPB.

In the information that the NCPB MD has dismissed as a scam, it gave the retailing prices as; “DAP (NPK) 18:46:0 at Sh 2,400, DAP (NPK) 17:17:17 at Sh 1,800 and DAP (NPK) 23:23:0 at 1,800.”

Yesterday, Kipkorir Menjo, a Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) director also dismissed the information of existence of subsidies as a scam.

“I wondered how would NCPB stock subsidised fertiliser when the government has none,” said Menjo when The Standard sought his comments.

Menjo also said he had received calls from numerous fames who wanted to seek clarifications from him.

“We are cautioning farmers not to be caught in the web of this scam,” stated Menjo.

The development comes amid a skyrocketing price of fertiliser in the market even before farmers embark on land preparation for the next planting season.   

Menjo noted that a bag of 50 kg bag of fertiliser is currently retailing at Sh5,200 and could shoot further when demand picks up during planting season.

“If the government does not intervene and assist farmers through a subsidy program, most maize and wheat produces will reduce their production acreage hence compromising the county’s food security. Most fames will not afford to buy the input,” noted Menjo.

The director cited Covid-19 pandemic impact that affected distribution supplies chains from China and Russia that exports fetiliser to Kenya, high cost of fuel that has heightened transport costs and depreciation of the shilling for the sharp increase in fetiliser prices currently.

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