Ruto announces further reduction of fertiliser prices to Ksh.2,500

Ruto announces further reduction of fertiliser prices to Ksh.2,500

President William Ruto speaks during a past function at State House, Nairobi on July 4, 2023. PHOTO | PCS

The government has kicked off the second phase of the fertiliser subsidy program.

President William Ruto Wednesday said the second leg of the program will begin bringing down the price of fertiliser from Ksh.3,500 to Ksh.2,500 for a 50-kilogram bag.

“At this price, we expect a significantly higher uptake of fertiliser. Since fertiliser is the game-changer of agricultural productivity, this should translate to higher production in the next planting season,” said the Head of State said, encouraging farmers to use the fertiliser to increase yields in the coming seasons.

In a televised address on the government’s interventions in agriculture from State House, Nairobi, President Ruto said this is in line with his promise to lower production costs instead of subsidising food prices, which saw him lower the price of a 50-kilogram bag from Ksh.7,000 to Ksh.3,500 in the last season.

Ruto appealed to farmers to redouble the use of fertiliser per acre to increase agricultural production.

“In the long rain season, most farmers used one bag of fertiliser per acre. Data shows that if you double the fertiliser per acre, you’ll get more yield of between 12 and 25 bags of maize,” he said.

He noted that the government is looking to deliver 100,000 tonnes, or 2 million 50-kilogram bags, of subsidised fertiliser ahead of the short rains.

“Our target is to produce 61 million bags annually between this season and 2027. Long rains usually account for 80 per cent of a season’s production. From the long rain season alone, an estimated yield of 44 million bags is expected, compared to last year’s 32 million bags. As a result of effectively administered strategic interventions, we are definitely on course to meet national demand in full this year,” added Ruto.

Data from the Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC) last month showed that as of the close of business on June 10, a total of 3,050,731 bags of both planting and top-dressing fertilisers had been redeemed by farmers from 40 counties, with Uasin Gishu leading in the uptake.

Meanwhile, the president has announced the government is increasing the budget for the Agriculture Finance Corporation (AFC) from Ksh. 2 billion to Ksh.10 billion to facilitate affordable credit available to farmers.

“The credit will be provided at single-digit rates to further reduce our cost of production and enhance productivity,” Ruto said.

The president also thanked farmers for what he described as relentless dedication and patriotism.

“Through their hard work and the interventions we have made through the fertiliser subsidy programme, farmers have expanded production by an extra 200,000 acres compared to last year,” said Ruto.

He said the government’s target is to double agricultural productivity in Kenya by 2027 and assured them of the support they need.

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