Fuel shortage, high prices disrupt farming activities

Motorists line up at Kabsabet shell petrol station in Nandi County on March 30, 2022. [Christopher Kipsang,Standard]

Farmers in North Rift want the government to urgently address the shortage of fuel that has disrupted the planting season.

Despite the rainy season starting, most farmers cannot plough their land due to the shortage of fuel.

Fredrick Rono, a maize farmer, in Kitale, Trans Nzoia described the fuel crisis as frustrating. He said most farmers, who were preparing their farms for planting, have been forced to stop due to the shortage of fuel.

“We were excited when the long rains started. However, the shortage of fuel and diesel has really hit us," he said. 

A spot-check in Kitale showed some petrol stations had run out of fuel, with the commodity selling at between Sh135 and Sh150 per litre.

Obiri Matundura, a large scale farmer in Simatwet, said the fuel shortage and scramble for limited stock have affected the start of the planting season.

“Land preparation requires a huge amount of diesel to operate the ploughing machines and the shortage has affected us,” said Matundura.

In Turkana, more than 10 petrol stations shut down after running out of fuel. 

Turkana Independent Petroleum Outlets secretary-general Abdi Hajji, who also owns the Sagal petrol station in Lodwar, said they are not ready to return to business until the government addresses the fuel price.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority had said it was working on ensuring normalcy, working with the Petroleum Ministry and oil marketing companies.

It had said there are adequate stocks of petroleum products in the country.

 [Compiled by Osinde Obare, Christopher Kipsang, Lucas Ngasike]