Farmers will get one million bags of subsidised fertiliser worth Sh2 billion ahead of the planting sea- son later this month. Agriculture PS Romano Kiome, during a phone interview, said they are working to have the fertiliser arrive in the country within the next few weeks.
"We will ensure we have adequate fertiliser before the planting season starts and farmers should not be worried at all," said Ki- ome, who spoke the Star yesterday.
Farmers in Rift Valley are worried the govern- ment's delay to import subsidised fertiliser will hurt their harvest. The farmers want the government to directly import the fertiliser fol- lowing a debt dispute at the National Cereals and Produce Board which has made it impossible for the board to import the product. The NCPB has made orders for DAP fertiliser for planting and CAN for top dressing to be used this year.
Cereals Growers Association, Kenya Farmers Association and the Kenya National Farmers Union officials have warned the delayed importation of the fertiliser may delay the planting season for most farmers. "What we need to have is the fertiliser before March 15 to ensure access of farm inputs on time," said CGA's Sila Tiren.
He was with Musa Bar- no from the KNFU. The officials said there should be no further delays in bringing into the country the fertiliser consignment. Tiren said the government should stop focusing on the elections only, "but also consider the plight of the farmers".
"The country will require food after the polls," said the farmers. Farmers are worried middlemen will hike prices if government does not import the fertiliser in good time.