State agencies will sell planting fertiliser to farmers at Sh3,100 for a 50 kilogramme bag coming as a relief to growers who have been paying Sh3,500 for the same quantity in agrovets.

The Ministry of Agriculture said it has negotiated with National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) and the Kenya National Trading Corporation for the DAP fertiliser.

The announcement comes as a boost to growers who have started planting following the onset of long rains in most parts of the country.

Maize farmers missed out on subsidy fertiliser last year after the government stopped the scheme and opted for e-voucher system that only targets small-holder growers.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the price was arrived at after considering several factors including effects of Covid-19.

โ€œTaking into consideration Covid-19 pandemic, exchange rates and fuel prices, the 2021 pricing for DAP planting fertiliser is Sh3,100 per 50 kilogramme bag,โ€ said Mr Munya.

However, farmers who have been listed under the government subsidy programme through the e-voucher will pay Sh3,200 for the same quantity of fertiliser.

Under the e-voucher programme, a number of agrovets have been registered with the government to participate. This is a shift from the previous arrangement where farmers would collect the subsidised fertiliser from NCPB depots.

Farmers are issued with the e-vouchers through their mobile phones after validation by extension officers. They are then given a pay bill number to make payments and receive a text message confirmation from Safaricom.

Once a farmer’s payment has been made, it triggers the government office that supports the programme, which then pays the balance to ensure the agro dealer gets a hundred percent of the total amount needed for a given input.

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CREDIT: BusinessDailyAfrica

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