Uasin Gishu Farmers Opt For Farmyard Manure As Fertilizer Prices Soar

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The country is now staring at a huge shortage of food as farmers struggle to raise funds to purchase farm inputs ahead of the planting season.

Of concern is the rising cost of fertilizer that has reached an all-time high, with farmers saying they cannot afford it.

A 50-kilogram bag of planting fertilizer costs over Ksh6,000 now, a figure that will likely hit Ksh7,000 due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

And with no hopes of the price coming down, a section of farmers in Uasin Gishu County is now contemplating using farmyard manure to plant.

A farmer preparing farmyard manure

They however say they will only plant for their own use, not for commercial purposes.

This year we have many challenges about farming. I usually plant 10 to 1 acres but this year it will be hard to even plant 2 acres because of the high cost of fertilizer,” said Sammy Ruto, a farmer from Soy Sub County.

I will only plant maize for my family to eat, then next year, we leave it to God,” he added.

Ruto says he already has farmyard manure enough to plant 2 acres of land.

“Saa hizi nimeweka farmyard manure ya kutosha. Hiyo ndio nitatumia. DAP na CAN hakuna returns,” he noted.

Land being prepared for planting.

This is not the only farmer planning to use farmyard manure to plant. Atnus Rotich, another farmer from Soy Sub County is also contemplating the same.

He says unless the government intervenes and provides subsidies for fertilizers to farmers, the best he can do is plant what can be used to provide food for his family.

We are now opting for farmyard manure and we are asking the government to prepare a supplementary budget to help farmers if they are serious with supporting Agriculture,” said Rotich.

The farmer has been planting about 20 acres of maize but says this season, he will be lucky if he can afford 8 to 10 acres.

North Rift region is considered the country’s food basket, and the current challenges are likely to impact negatively the food security status.

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