KENYA – The government is set to implement the Warehouse Receipt System Act, 2019, which establishes a well-regulated trading system for agricultural commodities that links buyers and sellers.
Speaking during a press conference at State House Nairobi, President William Ruto stated that the system creates an ecosystem with opportunities for the private sector and the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to provide a trading platform that links buyers and sellers.
President Ruto’s announcement comes after the recent Ministry of Trade’s partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to launch a warehouse receipt system project envisioned to reduce post-harvest losses in the country.
The president stated that having the system in place will facilitate access to credit by agricultural producers as well as cushion farmers against low farm-gate prices.
Ruto opined that the move is aimed at striking out brokers and middlemen in the agricultural sector that deprive farmers off their hard-earned profits.
” We are also maximizing farmer returns from their produce by likewise removing brokers, middlemen, conmen, and other intermediaries, as well as other perennial marketing challenges related with cereals and pulses,” he stated.
The president expressed optimism that this system will roll out clear guidelines and structures for the trading of agricultural produce in the country.
“This system creates an ecosystem with opportunities for the private sector and NCPB to provide a trading platform that links buyers and sellers, and facilitates access to credit by agricultural producers,” he added.
Fertilizer prices slashed by KES 1,000 As Govt Launches Second Phase of subsidy program
During the same press, President Ruto also launched the second phase of the fertilizer subsidy program that reduces the price of the commodity for farmers countrywide further from Sh3,500 to Sh2,500, a whopping 29% decline.
According to the head of state, this will boost farmers’ produce during the short rains season that is soon to kick off.
“For the coming short rains, the government has embarked on the distribution of fertilizer to farmers throughout the country, to ultimately deliver 100,000 MT, or 2 million 50kg bags, at a subsidized cost of Sh2,500,” he stated.
According to Ruto, the move would enable farmers to double fertilizer use per acre to increase yields, adding that data shows doubling fertilizer results in 12 to 25 bags of maize.
The president has also added that his government will increase the farmers’ credit kit from Sh2 million to Sh10 million so that farmers can access affordable credit loans to buy farm Inputs.
Additionally, 100 dryer machines will be distributed to farmers at an affordable rate in all NCPB offices across the country where the government will meet half of the cost of purchase.
So far 3M bags of subsidized fertilizer have been supplied to farmers since the government launched the first phase of the fertilizer subsidy program.