The government is still working out ways that are aimed at helping reduce the high cost of fertilizers being witnessed in the country.
According to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) chairperson Mutea Iringo, they are in discussions on finding a way to import the fertilizers and a cheaper price for farmers.
Farmers, especially those from the North Rift region have been lamenting over the high cost, with some fearing they might not be able to plant this season.
The planting season is only weeks away, with no signs of the prices dropping.
Currently, a 50-kilogram bag of planting fertilizer retails at between Ksh5,600 to Ksh6,000.
“We are determined to help farmers not to incur the high cost of production so that we ensure food security,” Iringo told Journalists in Eldoret town during the opening of an Agricultural Hub.
The NCPB chair notes that the current high cost of fertilizers is a result of the Covid-19 pandemic that affected production for the past two years.
“Fertilizer production went down, but the demand went high. This has contributed to the current state,” he said.
Similar sentiments were shared by NCPB Managing Director Joseph Kimote.
“It is true the price of fertilizers has gone up. This is a matter the government is aware of,” Kimote said.
He, however, attributed the issue to the high prices at the global market. Kimote also said the government had already started engaging manufacturers as it seeks to work out the modalities to reduce the cost.
The NCPB MD also defended the prices of their fertilizer, which he described as fair.
A bag of fertilizer at NCPB stores costs between Ksh5,000 and Ksh5,400.
“We have negotiated directly with manufacturers, and our prices are fairly competitive,” said Kimote.
Even as the government continues to work on lowering the price of fertilizers, it is the hope of farmers that the intervention will materialize before the planting season which is just days away.
It is only recently that the Uasin Gishu County Assembly asked the county executive to provide subsidies to farmers.
But according to the Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) Uasin Gishu branch director Kipkorir Menjo, devolved units may not have the financial muscle to provide subsidized fertilizers to their farmers.