Small-scale farmers will receive 300,000 additional bags of planting fertiliser before the end of this week, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has said. Kiunjuri said the 15,000 tonnes is part of 60,000 tonnes government has purchased for the season.
He said the government has distributed 900,000 bags to the farmers and the remaining is currently being transported to designated stores from where the growers are expected to collect them.
“Out of this, 1.2 million bags worth Sh7 billion is meant for planting and we have also reduced the cost of the fertiliser from Sh1,800 to Sh1,500 in order to reduce the cost of production and increase the profit margins”, the CS added.
Kiunjuri who spoke at his Kilimo House office during a media briefing on distribution of subsided fertiliser, said the government is keen to ensure small-scale famers realise the benefits of their produce by procuring 2,314,000 bags of 50 kg fertiliser.
However, the CS warned that some unscrupulous individuals and traders were taking advantage of gaps in the vetting process to access the subsidised fertiliser.
“We are putting in place adequate measures to seal the loopholes and deal with the unscrupulous individuals”, he said.
He said the government has intensified surveillance across the country and security teams have been put on high alert. “So far four officials working with National Cereals and Produce Board have been suspended for working with illegal dealers to sabotage the government subsidised fertiliser programme.