Farmers count losses as Sh1.5b worth of fertiliser ends up in the wrong hands
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has said subsidised fertiliser worth Sh1.5 billion went to the wrong hands.
Munya said this was due to the infiltration into the manual distribution of the farm input across the county.
According to Munya, the government invests approximately Sh5 billion annually on fertiliser which is then distributed to farmers across the country.
“Cartels purchase subsidised fertiliser in bulk and sold it at market rates, thus depriving small-scale farmers of the intended benefits. In addition, not all targeted farmers were effectively reached."
The CS was in Kisumu to preside over the launch of the Agricultural Digital Strategic Roadmap and The National Value Chain Support E-Voucher Programme.
He was with his Devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa, ICT PS Jerome Ochieng, Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and Nyando MP Jared Okello.
Munya said the e-voucher programme will help deal with the cartels involved in the distribution of subsidised farm input by the government, in a bid to ensure farmers reap maximum benefits.
He said after digitisation of the system, the government will expand its scope to cover other farm inputs such as; seeds, agrochemicals and other planting and stocking materials.
Munya said the e-Voucher is shifting the nationwide impact support programme focus to electronically register 1.4 million high-needs farming households and empower them to access a wide range of input – from seeds, crop protection, fertiliser, equipment and later insurance.
In the programme’s design, the government will support beneficiaries with 40 per cent of the cost of the input package, while the beneficiary will pay 60 per cent.
Beneficiaries will access input from a variety of private and public service providers using e-vouchers through digital service delivery.
“Through this, we project to impact over 3.3 million small-scale farmers who will be registered for more efficient service delivery and bring on-board 1,000 farmer-facing SMEs to digital platforms to provide services to farmers."
Kisumu is one of the 12 counties which was identified for the piloting of the project, with rice being the target crop in the area.
Munya went on, adding that in addition, as part of the Buy Kenya-Build Kenya Initiative, the Ministry not only procured 72 tonnes of certified, high yielding rice seed for distribution to our rice growing counties – where Kisumu County was among the beneficiaries; but also, though the Kenya National Trading Corporation, purchased 80,400 bags of 50kg (4,020 tons) of Kenyan grown rice valued at Sh535 million.
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