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Government Rolls Out 2nd Phase Of the Subsidized Fertilizer Program.

The Deputy President flags off the second batch of subsidized fertilizer

The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has launched the distribution of subsidized fertilizer in Tharaka Nithi County to spur increased agricultural production.

The program under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives was initiated through the NCPB Chairman Board of Directors Mr. Samuel Mbae Ragwa in collaboration with Tharaka Nithi County Governor Mr. Muthomi Njuki.

The subsidy program is an initiative of the national government to ensure that farmers acquire pocket-friendly fertilizer to boost their farm produce and livelihoods.

Speaking at Mukuuni Cereals Store while distributing the fertilizers, Ragwa said that the government set strategies in every county to ensure eligibility and accuracy to receive the products.

“Some of the strategies put in place include lining the stores, having computers for farmers’ registration at the stores and availability of electricity at the stores which was done in every county before they receive fertilizers,” he said

He noted that Tharaka Nithi County was one of the counties that met the set standards to receive low-cost fertilizers.

While addressing the farmers at the cereal store, Njuki said that the government is implementing the food security agenda through the program to enrich soil fertility and thus boost production.

He noted that different authorities including chiefs will conduct registration in the local areas to ensure the information given is transparent and accurate.

“In the first phase of farmers’ registration, some of the farmers did not receive alert messages and therefore we will conduct the second phase of registration to avoid inconveniencing anybody. No one will be given fertilizer without registration which will keep records of every farmer,” Njuki said.

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Tharaka Nithi County is in the process of creating an Industrial Park that will produce dried products for exports thus creating employment and empowering farmers in the county.

President William Ruto launched the second phase of the fertilizer subsidy program in August which aims to reduce the price of the commodity for farmers countrywide further from Sh3,500 to Sh2,500. So far 3M bags of subsidized fertilizer have been supplied to farmers since the government launched the first phase of the fertilizer subsidy program. He noted that the government is looking to deliver 100,000 tonnes or 2 million 50-kilogram bags of subsidized fertilizer ahead of the short rains.

Kenya’s fertilizer subsidy program has been hit by several challenges with non-recipients citing a lag between the date of receipt of the notification and redemption of the subsidized fertilizer, lack of finances to redeem the voucher, wrong timing, long queues, long distances, corruption, not being contacted despite registration, title deed, and obtaining information late.

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According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), access to government-subsidized fertilizer among sampled farmers stood at 49% in July 2023 compared to 43% and 29% reported in May and March 2023, respectively.

The Government distributes the subsidy fertilizer only to farmers who have been registered by use of an e-voucher system that ensures traceability and full accountability of the subsidized fertilizers.

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