KENYA – The government has received 34,400 tonnes of Potash, Urea, and NPK, a raw form of fertilizer as a donation from Russia to boost farm production.
The consignment, delivered at the port of Mombasa was received by Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi and Russian Ambassador to Kenya, Dmitry Maksimychev.
Linturi said that the raw fertilizer will be reformulated to produce a total of 100,200 tonnes and distributed to farmers under the Fertilizer Subsidy Programme through outlets owned by the Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC) and National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
He added that after formulation, the fertilizer will be made available to farmers at Sh3,500 per 50kg bag, adding that the move will reduce the input cost given that farmers incur about 30 percent in the cost of production.
“This is a great step towards addressing the cost of production to our farmers. The Kenyan Kwanza government is committed to lowering production costs,” said Linturi.
The fertilizer subsidy program was initiated after President Ruto scrapped the maize flour subsidy program, arguing that his government will not subsidize consumables and will instead focus on production which will lead to sustainable food security.
According to Linturi, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Cooperatives is currently implementing the presidential directive on the provision of subsidized fertilizer to farmers across the country.
The program aims at increasing food production to ensure that Kenya remains food secure. A bag of 50 kg is expected to retail at Sh3,500 down from the current prices of between sh6,000 to sh6,500.
“Since the program began, I can guarantee you that there is no shortage of top-dressing fertilizer at the moment,” he said.
The Russian ambassador to Kenya Dmitry said that his country will continue supporting Kenya to become more economically resilient.
“Russia believes that healthy nutrition is an integral part of the human right to life. Unfortunately, the small farmers of the developing world take the heaviest toll during the turbulent era and we are proud to reach those in need and alleviate the risks of hunger,” said Dmytri.
The consignment, he said, is part of Uralchem – Uralkali Group’s commitment to donate a total of 300,000 tons of mineral fertilizers to developing countries aimed to prevent crop loss and shield millions of people from the threat of starvation.