Deputy President William Ruto has pledged to allocate sufficient funds to Agriculture if elected President in the upcoming polls.
The DP noted that over 70 percent of Kenyans are employed in the Agriculture sector hence the need for it to be well funded.
He spoke when addressing hundreds of locals at the Eldoret mega rally on Saturday.
According to the DP, his first priority, if elected president will be to set aside funds to facilitate fertilizer subsidy.
“This year after elections, we will lower fertilizer prices to Ksh2,500 per bag so that we have sufficient food. It is in our interest to reduce the cost of living, which is possible only if we reduce the cost of farming,” Ruto said.
Currently, a 50-kilogram bag of planting fertilizer retails at around Ksh5,500.
When he was the Minister for Agriculture in the coalition government, Ruto introduced fertilizer subsidy, which the government later abandoned.
Farmers, especially from the North Rift have been lamenting over the high cost of production that has resulted from high farm input prices.
“I know 70 percent of Kenyans work in the agriculture sector. This is why we will set aside funds to support farmers in all sectors – from those planting coconuts, coffee, sugarcane, maize, and others,” said Ruto.
And with Kenyans also suffering due to the high cost of living, Ruto says reducing the cost of production for food is one way to address this challenge.
“It is in our interest to reduce the cost of living, which is possible only when we reduce the cost of farming,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago had asked Ruto, once he wins the presidency, to reduce fertilizer prices to as low as Ksh500 per bag.
Mandago also called for the setting of maize price to be at least Ksh3,500 per 90-kilogram bag.
“Farmers have suffered for long, and when you for the government, we ask that you make the maize price be at a constant price of Ksh3,500,” said the governor.
The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) recently increased the price of maize to Ksh3,000 per bag.
Some farmers, however, still feel the price is still low, considering the high cost of production.