Farmers across the country have purchased more than three million bags of fertiliser under the Fertiliser Subsidy Programme (FSP).
According to the latest bulletin by the Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC), a State agency spearheading the distribution of farm inputs, at the close of business by June 10 this year, over 3.05 million bags of both planting and top-dressing fertilisers had been redeemed by farmers from 40 counties.
“The bulk of this consignment was planting fertiliser, whose uptake has been encouraging,” stated the report signed by the Kenya National Trading Corporation Managing Director Pamela Mutua. “Some 1.72 million bags of planting fertiliser have been purchased by farmers from the 40 counties,” Mutua said. Farmers from Uasin Gishu County took the lead in the uptake of the planting fertiliser, redeeming 402,366 bags.
They are followed closely by Trans Nzoia (240,097), Nakuru (213,242), and Nandi counties (109,190), while Narok County farmers redeemed 108,321 bags of planting fertiliser.
The report noted that with the planting season in most counties drawing to a close, the focus has now shifted to the top dressing fertiliser, whose distribution is ongoing.
“More than 1,253,440 bags of top dressing fertiliser had been distributed,” the statement read in part.
Mutua noted that the programme has been flawlessly executed through the issuance of e-vouchers, and the use of other technologies to ensure traceability and accountability.
The subsidised fertiliser programme is one of the key projects by President William Ruto, who has since his inauguration insisted on subsidising production instead of consumption.
The president pledged to ensure the distribution of 1.4 million bags of subsidised fertiliser soon after he was sworn into office more than eight months ago. In the ongoing phase of distribution of top dressing fertiliser, Uasin Gishu County is still leading the pack having already redeemed 281,990 bags.
Trans Nzoia County (276,855), Bungoma County (116,945), Nandi County (73,082), Nakuru County (72,335) and Kakamega County (63,166) have posted impressive numbers in the number of farmers redeeming their e-vouchers.
In the Coffee sector, the report noted that farmers have also been lining up in our depots to redeem their e-vouchers after the arrival of top-dressing fertiliser. “Already a total of 52,526 bags of fertiliser have already been purchased by farmers,” the report stated.
Farmers were also redeeming potato, sugarcane and vegetable fertilisers in various outlets across the country. “We are calling on farmers to continue purchasing fertiliser from our depots as it is still available. We still have a total of 736, 141 bags in our stores,” Mutua said,
She attributed the success of the programme to the multi-agency approach. “From registration of farmers facilitated by the Ministry of Interior to the data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and support of ministries of Agriculture and Trade, we have made this initiative a success,” Mutua said, adding that the collaboration with counties in the distribution of the fertiliser was helpful.
The subsidy was aimed at bringing down the cost of fertiliser, which had increased to Sh6,500 per 50 Kg bag. The fertiliser is available in 109 outlets run by KNTC and the National Cereals and Produce Board.