Farmers appeal to State to subsidise cost of fertiliser

Loaders carry fertiliser belonging to Yara East Africa limited at the company depot along Mombasa road in Nairobi. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Farmers want the government to subsidise the cost of fertiliser to boost crop production.

Last year, farmers bought a 50kg bag of subsidised fertiliser at Sh1,300 from the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) deport in Homa Bay town.

Failure by the government to provide subsidies has made it difficult for many farmers to acquire farm inputs. A 50kg bag of fertiliser is now sold at Sh4,950.

Homa Bay NCPB depot manager Ben Abong’o confirmed the new prices. Abong’o said individual companies took their farm inputs to the depot for sale with the aim of making profit.

“The farm inputs are being sold by individual organisations for the purpose of making profits. That is why farmers are complaining of high prices,” Abong’o said.

Musa Obuya, a farmer from Rang’wena village, said the high cost of fertilisers will reduce crop production.

Obuya said most growers had planted without fertiliser because they could not afford it. “Even me I don’t have money for fertiliser and will just go ahead and plant without it,” said Obuya

The farmers also appealed to the county government to provide them with subsidised seeds.

Bernard Omondi, a farmer in Gem West in Rangwe, said the rains were already here and the more farmers delay planting, the more likely their crops will fail.