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Kenya farmers to receive fertiliser before end month

NEWS
By By NICHOLAS WAITATHU | September 17th 2013

By NICHOLAS WAITATHU

Farmers will receive over 840,000 bags of subsided fertilisers before the end of this month to use for planting in the short rain season kicking off early next month.

Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei yesterday confirmed that a tender will be issued for acquisition of 42,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser for the short rain season.  

The ministry last month advertised for sealed bids from eligible and qualified bidders for supply and delivery of various categories of fertilisers to be used during the 2013 short rains. The period to bid for the contract ended September 3. 

“We are currently reviewing the tender papers so far submitted by the interested suppliers. So by end of next week we will announce the supplier who will procure subsided fertiliser to be used by the farmers,” Koskei said.

The expectation, Koskei added, is that by the time farmers start planting in early October for the short rain season there would be enough fertiliser for use. He made the remarks yesterday at his Kilimo House office when he received tools of authority of irrigation department, which has been transferred from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources to Agriculture.

Judy Wakhungu, the Environment, Water and Natural Resources ministry Cabinet Secretary handed over the tools of authority to Koskei.

Koskei said government was this time determined to procure subsided fertiliser before the start of the season. For two subsequent seasons government has been late to procure fertiliser, a situation that frustrated food production.

Recently Koskei visited various countries in Asia where he engaged fertiliser producers with the view to strengthening government efforts to procure the product directly from manufacturers.

He said the producers are willing to provide the manure directly to farmers and thus end the setback local farmers have been facing in terms of purchasing the stimulant.

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