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Linturi rolls out fertiliser distribution plan with counties


Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi accompanied by Governor George Natembea, and CAS Agriculture Jackson Kiptanui during his tour at the Kitale NCPB depot. [Mike Kihaki, Standard].

The Ministry of Agriculture has roped in county governments to set up alternative distribution centres to ensure equitable distribution of subsidised fertiliser.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi said he will eliminate the risk brought about by middlemen hence easing farmers' struggle to obtain the fertiliser.

Linturi spoke when he visited Kitale National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depot which saw thousands of farmers receive the fertilisers.

''These efforts will be boosted by sustained collaboration between the two levels of government for seamless distribution,'' Linturi said.

The CS observed that to increase accessibility, farmers should be encouraged to register for the e-subsidy that will allow for a wide reach.

The countrywide registration exercise kicked off in January this year with the help of the Ministry of Interior through chiefs and their assistants.

Upon registration, an e-voucher is generated for the nearest NCPB depot or KNTC store which is then used to validate the farmer who then qualifies to be given the product.

Currently, some 1,104,7674 bags of 50 kilograms of subsidised fertiliser have so far been redeemed through the new system.

Linturi said the government has sourced semi-organic fertiliser from other states in the region including Tanzania to enhance the program's success.

''We have sourced semi-organic fertilisers from Tanzania to boost the program. To reach more farmers, we encourage farmers to register for the e-subsidy,'' the CS said.

The CS further noted that the state will collaborate with other partners to ensure fertiliser is provided to suitable soil to increase productivity.

''We are working closely with other partners to provide different types of fertiliser that suit different soil types to increase productivity. Our commitment is to supply over 300,000 metric tons of fertiliser during these long rains to enhance crop yields and productivity,'' he stated.

This comes days after the CS assured Members of Parliament that the government is keen to work with the devolved units to achieve food security in the country.

Trans Nzoia governor, George Natembeya said his administration will ensure the fertiliser reaches the farmer in the farm by offering to provide transport.

''I commit to assisting in fertiliser distribution across the county to ensure all farmers benefit from the subsidy,'' Natembeya said.

Natembeya said the county government had set aside Sh54 million for the purchase of seeds and hired 50 Agricultural Extension Officers to train the farmers in new methods of farming practices.

In attendance included Deputy Governor Philomena Kapkor, Senator Allan Chesang, and CAS Agriculture Jackson Kiptanui. MD NCPB Joseph Kimote and MD Kenya Seed Company Fred Oloibe.

Later, the CS proceeded to Uasin Gishu County where he paid a courtesy call to Governor Jonathan Bii before visiting Eldoret NCPB and proceeded to West Pokot where he held talks with the county boss, Simon Kachapin and launched the exercise in the county.

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