Frustrated farmers camp in NCPB depot for subsidised fertiliser
By Titus Too and FRED KIBOR | March 23rd 2016
ELDORET, KENYA: Farmers in the North Rift are yet to access subsidized fertilizer weeks after the government announced the arrival of 104,000 metric tonnes at the Port of Mombasa.
Hundreds of maize farmers still mill around respective National cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depots in the North Rift region for the fertilizer that arrives in portions.
Enraged farmers who staged a protest at the Eldoret depot on Tuesday accused the state for the slow distribution of the inputs saying their planting programs have been interrupted.
They said they have already been cleared by agricultural officials and paid for the subsidized fertilizer but are yet to receive the inputs.
"We do not understand this kind of inefficiency on the part of the government. The inputs arrive in small portion and on Monday, only four trailers loaded with the subsidized fertilizer arrived, another two on Tuesday and three on Wednesday. All the stocks were depleted because hundreds of farmers were awaiting," said Kipkorir Menjo the Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) director.
For the last three weeks, hundreds of farmers who have registered for the subsidized fertilizer upon making payments have been waiting for their turns to receive them.
The list of farmers is long and in occasions the inputs arrive, they immediately rush into ques and the lucky ones receive the fertilizer that is distributed on first come first served basis.
On Tuesday, the farmers took to the streets to protest the government delays in distribution of the inputs as the initial rains pound the region.
Menjo who led the farmers said: "A paltry 12,000 bags have been delivered to the region that has a demand of over 200,000 bags to satisfy farmers in Uasin Gishu alone. The government should act with speed," he said.
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