It’s good news for small and large-scale farmers in Kenya after the government -- through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives -- injected Sh5.7 billion into subsidising fertiliser prices in the country.
The subsidy was announced Friday by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.
According to the Agriculture ministry, a bag of DAP that was selling for Sh6,000 will now go for Sh2,800, Urea (from Sh6,500 to Sh2,700), CAN (from Sh3,900 to Sh1,950), NPK (from Sh4,900 to Sh3,000) while MOP will go from Sh3,800 to Sh2,500. Sulphate Ammonia will be sold at Sh2,500 from Sh3,800.
CS Munya said the new prices are effective Saturday.
“Rainy season has started. Most small-scale and large-scale farmers have already begun preparing their farms for planting. I therefore urge every farmer to take advantage of the reduced prices and purchase their preferred fertiliser,” he said.
The farmers are only allowed to purchase a maximum of 10 bags of fertiliser -- which includes five bags of planting fertiliser and another five bags of top dressing.
The move follows a spike in prices over the last 12 months that saw some growers resort to planting crops without fertiliser because they could not afford it. At National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depots and stores across the country, the prices were beyond reach for a majority of farmers.
The situation risked famine in many parts of Kenya in the near future as the planting season neared.
Treasury had withdrawn Sh5.7 billion from the supplementary budget that was to cushion farmers against high fertiliser costs. The cash was then transferred to the security docket, leading to uproar from MPs from the National Assembly Agriculture Committee.
Fertiliser prices have been on the rise since early 2021 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Increased costs are also linked to export restrictions enforced by producer countries such as China, Russia and Turkey that were aimed at protecting their own farmers, which led to a drop in global fertiliser supplies.