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Farmers rush for limited subsidized fertiliser

By Titus Too | Feb 20th 2020 | 2 min read
By Titus Too | February 20th 2020

Limited stocks of subsidised fertiliser has left farmers scrambling for the commodity at the national cereals board stores.

The farmers from the North Rift are rushing to purchase the fertiliser from the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) as the maize planting season nears.

NCPB is rationing the quantities it is releasing to farmers.

A spot check by The Standard in Nandi and Uasin Gishu counties yesterday established increased activity in some NCPB stores, as farmers rushed to collect the input.

Government-subsidised fertiliser goes for Sh1,800 a bag, compared to that in the normal market that goes for between Sh2,500 and Sh3,000.

Uasin Gishu County Executive for Agriculture Samwel Yego said the distribution of subsidised fertiliser was still being carried out by the national government.

Mr Yego added that there was little stock in the board stores to match the huge amounts required by farmers.

“The subsidised fertiliser currently in NCPB stores is inadequate," said Yego.

"There are only 33,000 bags of fertiliser, each weighing 50 kilograms in the Eldoret depot. Another 25,000 bags is in Moi’s Bridge depot. Farmers are given maximum rations of 20 bags.”

He added that Uasin Gishu County alone required more than 550,000 bags of fertiliser to meet the demand.

March and April are normally the months when long rains begin. Farmers prepare their fields early in anticipation.

Yego said despite agriculture being a devolved function, the fertiliser was still being distributed by the national government.

Kimutai Kolum, a maize farmer in Uasin Gishu County, said subsidised fertiliser would not help the large-scale farmers who require huge stocks.

An official from NCPB, who sought anonymity, said the available fertiliser was what was left of last year's stocks.

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