Deliver inputs to depots on time, farmers tell State

By Faith Ronoh

Eldoret, Kenya: Farmers in the North Rift region want the Government to deliver farm inputs to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depots by December to avert delays in next year’s planting season.

This comes after Deputy President William Ruto recently disclosed that the Government has set aside funds to be used to purchase farm inputs in advance and avert delays in the next planting season.

The Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (Kenfap) Uasin Gishu Chairman Musa Barno said delays in distribution of seeds and fertiliser this year might have a negative impact on the country’s food security.

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“We were delighted when we heard the Deputy President say that they are planning to avail fertiliser and seeds before December. Nonetheless, the Government should fulfill its promise and avail farm input before the end of the year to ensure that farmers plant on time,” said Barno.

He noted that top-dressing fertiliser that was recently distributed to various NCPB depots will be of no use since the maize crop has grown above the knee-height.

March rains

Moiben constituency MP Sila Tiren, who is also a large scale farmer in the country’s food basket, exuded confidence that the Government will deliver the farm inputs to the farmers as it has promised.

Tiren added that if inputs are made available by December, farmers will be in a position to prepare land before the onset of rains in March.

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“I believe the Government will be in a position to distribute subsidized input on time because what caused delays in the previous season was the fact that the grain reserve’s operations were grounded following a procurement challenge pitting it gainst  Erad Suppliers Ltd,” said Tiren.

Ruto, while attending a funeral in the region recently, affirmed that fertiliser and other farm inputs will be made available at respective NCPB depots across the country to avoid unnecessary rush at the onset of the long rains.

Ruto said farmers should have an opportunity to prepare their farms in advance and access inputs for timely planting.

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National Cereals and Produce Board Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers farm inputs