The National government dispatched more than 250, 000 bags of subsidized fertilizer to farmers in Busia county to boost food production.
United Democratic Party Secretary-General Mr Cleophas Malala while launching the distribution of the fertilizer at Amukura market in Busia County, said the Kenya Kwanza government reduced the prices of the fertilizers from sh7000 when it took over the office to sh2500.
“The prices of fertilizer have reduced drastically compared to the way it was when President William Ruto was ascending to power last year. A 50kg sack of fertilizer was selling at sh7,000 to sh3,500, but when he was in Vihiga County he announced that the price will reduce further to sh2,500. He also directed that the fertilizer be taken to all the counties that practice farming and Busia County is one of them,” he noted
According to him, Vihiga County received 48, 000 bags of fertilizer, Bungoma gave out 250,000 bags, and 258,000 bags went to Kakamega and Busia received 222,000 bags respectively.
To reduce the cost of transportation, the former Kakamega senator announced that, fertilizer will be taken to every sub-county adding that county governments will provide stores where the fertilizers will be stored before farmers collect them
“We started with Vihiga County where we gave out almost 48,000 bags of fertilizer, Bungoma we took 250,000 bags, Kakamega got 258,000 bags and Busia today is receiving 222,000 bags of fertilizer. Besides price reduction, the president has also ordered that the fertilizer be taken closer to farmers to minimize transportation costs incurred by farmers when collecting the fertilizer to their homes.
He revealed that the government through Kenya Seed Company is planning to reduce the prices of seeds in the next planting season to reduce the cost of farming and increase food production in Kenya.
“President has clarified that since the price of fertilizer has been subsidized, he will make sure that the Kenya Seed Company reduces prices of seeds that will supply to the market in the next planting season,” stated Mr Malala.
Busia governor Dr Paul Otuoma noted that when it comes to agricultural revitalization in the county, his administration will work closely with the national government.
“When it comes to economic and agricultural revitalization the Country government of Busia and the National government will work together. Kenyan citizens are one, we do not have a county and national government-citizen,” he noted
He also stated that his government will recruit more agriculture extension officers to help farmers in villages address the challenges they face on their farms.
“Through this collaboration with the national government, we will be recruiting 10 agricultural extension officers in every ward. The extension services had collapsed, it is when we are trying to revamp it so that the officers can train farmers how to use fertilizer, how to plant, and even how to select the right seed for planting,” said Dr Otuoma
Teso South Member of Parliament Ms Mary Emase urged the government to help farmers access quality seeds on time adding that in many cases farmers find it difficult to get the right seeds during the planting season and at the end they plant seeds that do not germinate.
“My people also suffer when looking for quality seeds. Recently I tried looking for beans, soya, and groundnut seeds. We could not get it around here. I had to go all the way to the Kenya Agricultural Livestock Organization in Kakamega to get quality seeds, We need depots in all sub-counties so that our farmers can plant the right seeds and on time,” she explained.