Kakamega farmers receive Sh712 Million subsidized inputs

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa presiding over the farm input distribution in Butere and Shinyalu Constituencies in Kakamega County. [Benard Lusigi, Standard]

Over 100,000 farmers are set to benefit from Sh712 million farm inputs from the County government of Kakamega.

Residents will now access subsidized fertilizers, maize, fish feeds and various farm inputs in a quest to enhance the production of food and agricultural products.

Governor Fernandes Barasa, who presided over the inputs' distribution launch, noted that the project aims to provide affordable high-quality inputs, enhance access to farm inputs, and address the issue of soil acidity.

“We have procured 120,00- (25kg) bags of planting fertilizer, 120,000 (25kg) bags of top dressing fertilizer, and 103,240 (2kg) packets of certified maize seeds. All our 62 storage facilities across the county will have received the expected supplies by the end of next week,” Barasa said.

Barasa was speaking on Friday when he oversaw the launch of the distribution of farm subsidies for central and southern sub-counties.

In Shinyalu constituency, the team distributed 9,000 bags of planting fertiliser, 9,000 bags of top dressing fertiliser, and 8,000 packets of certified maize seeds.

In Butere, residents received 7,500 bags of planting fertiliser, 7,500 bags of top dressing fertiliser, and 7,500 packets of certified maize seeds.

“The subsidised prices are Sh1,920 for a 25kg bag of planting fertiliser, Sh1,350 for a 25kg bag of topdressing fertiliser and Sh305 for a 2kg packet of certified maize seed,” Barasa said.

The county boss added that the subsidized fertilizer is the solution to the nutritional problems of soils in the county.

This he said, is because the fertilizer was procured after carefully testing soils.

Residents will also get access to fish feeds valued at Sh9 million.

“Consistent provision of subsidised farm inputs has steadily improved production from an average of eight bags per acre in the financial year 2014/2015 to the current average of 14 bags per acre in the financial year 2022/2023,” Barasa said.

He said strict measures have been put in place to deal with discrepancies during the selling of the subsidised farm input.

“For integrity of transactions and to ensure nobody takes advantage of our farmers to overcharge them, all payments for our farm inputs will be done electronically through Mpesa,” he said.

To buy the products, interested parties are advised to visit ward offices where ward agricultural officers will offer extension services.

For the past 10 years, the distribution of subsidised fertiliser has seen an increase in maize production from 1.9 million bags in 2013 to 2.8 million bags in 2022.

However, the process has witnessed a raft of challenges for instance cross border smuggling, poor network, inadequate staff, poor mobility, inadequate farm inputs and insecurity during distribution.

In the financial year 2022/2023, the county distributed 337,920,000 planting fertilisers, 323,160,000 top dressing fertilizers, and 40 million packets of certified maize seeds.