Africa, Fertilizers, News, Phosphate

Kenya Urged to Provide Fertilizer on Time

The Kenyan government has been urged to provide DAP fertilizers and maize seeds to the country‘s Seeds Offices in time to help small-scale farmers to do their planting early. According to Kisii County, small-scale farmers complained that the government had a delay in sending the crop nutrients to Kisii town’s Seeds Office in time. “This is the time of planting but the government has delayed in bringing us fertilizer and maize seeds and this makes poor harvesting because we delay in planting,” said Mr Omanga, the leader of the farmers.

Moreover, the farmers also complained about the allegations that once they receive fertilizer from the government, they sell it to wealthy farmers leaving out small-scale farmers. The farmers also reduced the price of fertilizer and maize seeds to be reduced to make it easy for them to access. Kenya is a major hub for trade and finance in East Africa. Its agriculture sector, which primarily exports tea, horticultural products and coffee, represents more than a fifth of the country’s GDP. Of the total land area, only 9 percent is utilized for cultivated crops, while no measurable amount of the total land supports permanent crops such as fruit- and nut-bearing trees.

The Kenyan government makes fertilizer available to small farmers at subsidized prices. In 2013, for example, 50kg of Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) was available at Sh2,500 (around $25) subsidized. If purchased from private traders, it would have cost between Sh3,500 ($35) and Sh3,700 ($37). However, these subsidies are only available if the fertilizer is purchased from the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), a Kenyan government run company. Subsidized fertilizer has traditionally been distributed only at certain NCPB locations, which made many farmers travel long distance and stand in lines.

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