3 January 2013

Kenya: State to Import Sh 2 Billion Fertiliser for 2013 Season

The government is in the process of importing more than one million bags of fertilizer for the next planting season this year.

NCPB Managing Director Gideon Misoi says the importation will be in addition to another 800,000 bags of DAP fertilizer for planting which is already at the boards depots. Misoi said the Sh2 billion consignment is expected in the country in a month.

The affected small scale farmers own land ranging between 5-10 acres where they produce maize and other crops mainly for domestic consumption.

The NCPB says its yet to determine the exact losses caused by the floods to food crops in the region. Many of the large scale farmers had already harvested their crop before the rains.

"There could be some effects but we are yet to analyze the actual situation in the affected areas, said Misoi. Misoi said the board would asses the situation and give details. NCPB had indicated that the farmers have more than 40 million bags of maize from last year's season and that the harvest would be adequate for the country.

The board has already bought more than 530,000 bags of maize from farmers and Misoi says the board is now focusing on providing adequate fertilizer for farmers to be able to produce more this year.

Misoi said the fertilizer subsidies programme would further help farmers to increase food production this year so that the country can be self reliant in food production.

Meanwhile heavy rains in parts of the North Rift region will affect maize production especially in areas which have been hit by floods and mudslides. Some of the farmers in the region had not harvested their crop when the heavy rains set in.

"My store was swept away with all the maize and other food which I had harvested. Now we have to look for food from elsewhere or we rely on relief food", said Mzee Paul Kering whose family was among those displaced in Keiyo South. However most of those affected were small scale farmers.

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