Rift Valley farmers have welcomed President Uhuru's proposed meeting with Russian fertilizer manufacturers to help reduce the prices of the commodity.
Kenya Farmers Association director Kipkorir Menjo said dealing directly with the manufacturers reduce bureaucracies and extra charges by importers which raises the prices.
Uhuru, who visited Russia before heading to China, met with the fertilizer producers among other Russian bussinessmen and discussed how to help cut down the costs of fertilizer for farmers. Uhuru urged the fertilizers to look into the possibility of setting up a fertlizer plant in the country. Musa Barno from the Kenya National Farmers Union also backed Uhuru's plan on the fertilizer
Menjo said the plan to eliminate the middle men from the supply chain would be beneficial to farmers and the government should go ahead and directly import the fertilizer every year so as to help increase food production in the country.
Farmers in the region have also planned to directly deal with the manufacturers because the government may not be able to engage in the bussiness of importing farm imputs for long.
While meeting the farmers in Eldoret recently, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Felix Koskei said the farmers should form co-operatives through which they can directly import the fertilizer.
"You can form groups and import the fertilizer yourselves instead of relying on middlemen who are out to do bussiness,"said Koskei.He said the government's role in agriculture had diminished and that the state would largely deal with issues of policy in the sector.
At the same time Menjo said the government should also introduce policies that would help to increase youth participation in agriculture
Menjo says majority of farmers are aged over 60 years and few youth were now venturing into the sector. "We might in future lack farmers in this country because youth are not being encouraged to venture into the sector. We need policy that will increase youth participation,"said Menjo.