Kenya has received a shipment of fertiliser from Russia, offering relief to farmers as the demand for the commodity increases.
The consignment, facilitated by the United Nations World Food Programme, is the first to be received in the country since the Ukraine-Russia war.
According to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi, the fertiliser will be distributed to farmers at a subsidised price
Mr Linturi said the fertiliser subsidy has yielded fruit and the ministry is now focused on dealing with post-harvest storage.
Speaking while receiving the 34,000 tonnes of fertiliser, a donation from the Russian fertiliser producer Uralchem-Uralkali Group, the CS said the government does not intend to import any more fertiliser since the planting season is over.
“Hundreds of farmers drawn from 34 counties through outlets owned by the Kenya National Trading Corporation and the National Cereals and Produce Board have benefited from subsidised fertiliser. The programme has been flawlessly executed through the issuance of e-vouchers and other technologies to ensure that there is traceability and accountability,” said Mr Linturi.
He added: “The government is working to ensure that in future, the 13 counties that did not benefit from the subsidies are brought on board.”
Part of the fertiliser will be granulated, bagged and sold to farmers under the subsidy programme.
“The 34,000 tonnes received today will be blended to form potash, urea and NPK fertilisers which will add to a total of 100,200 tons of reformulated fertiliser. We intended to sell the farm input at a reduced price of Sh3,500 per 50-kilogramme bag,” said Mr Linturi.
Russian Ambassador to Kenya Dmitry Maksimychev said the support in the agricultural value chain is expected to create wealth and employment and thus lead to reduced cost of living.
“Russia is proud to contribute to this consignment of fertilisers, which are crucial for global agriculture. Russia believes that healthy nutrition is an integral part of a human right to life. Unfortunately, the small farmers of the developing world take the heaviest toll during this turbulent era and we are proud to reach those in need and alleviate their risks of hunger,” he said.
Mr Dmitry said Uralchem-Uralkali Group is committed to donating a total of approximately 300,000 tonnes of mineral fertilisers to developing countries to prevent crop loss and famine amid global economic and food crises.