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President okay's fertilizer subsidy program despite past abuse

NEWS
By Roselyne Obala | March 21st 2019

President Uhuru Kenyatta has approved the distribution of subsidised fertiliser during this planting season.

The Ministry of Agriculture has issued reviewed guidelines for the issuance of the commodity following the hijacking of the process by cartels in past years.

Agriculture Principal Secretary Hamadi Boga has written to National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) acting Managing Director Albin Sang with strict instructions on how the various types of subsided fertiliser will be distributed to ensure genuine farmers benefit.

Prof Hamadi said 635,000 bags were at the NCPB stores awaiting distribution.

“The ministry has made arrangements and made available the initial bags. We have started the process to make available more subsided fertiliser,” he said.

According to the guidelines, DAP will be sold at Sh1,800, chemically compounded NPK at Sh1,700 while CAN and Urea will cost Sh1,300.

Hamadi stressed to Mr Sang that the NCPB was not allowed to sell the subsided fertiliser using any procedures other than what the ministry had prescribed.

“To ensure the subsidised fertiliser is accessed by farmers, we have reviewed the guidelines. Ensure that the reviewed guidelines are followed and give returns to the ministry on a weekly basis,” said the PS.

The rules include vetting of farmers, with those farming on less than 20 acres getting priority. They will be allowed to buy a maximum of 40 bags depending on crop acreage.

The fertiliser vetting and registration team will comprise the county agriculture executive and county commissioner. The local chief will chair the committee while the ward agriculture extension officer will act as secretary.

Other committee members will include a local leader drawn from the constituency development committee, a church leader, preferably a woman, and a farmers’ representative.

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