Kenya’s economy is mainly dependent on agriculture, the country relies heavily on imported farming inputs, fertiliser is critical in farming especially for maize farmers.
Just a month to planting season, the government announced that there would be no subsidised fertiliser as it has always been. The big question is: Is the government genuine?
Every year, Kenyans are treated to news of ‘fake’ fertilisers seized somewhere in the country. But after the news, where the fertiliser goes and the owner (s) remains a mystery.
Could it be that the fertilizer is not fake and the move is just a gimmick instigated by cartels in the industry to hike prices. hiked prices.
The latest recovery was for 3,500 tons of fertiliser estimated at Sh300 million last year June on grounds that it had mercury.
Questions still linger on the whereabouts of samples taken by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) seven months ago.
For those keenly following this fertilizer saga, we are left wondering if it is an intention to delay the entry of cheaper fertiliser from one of the world’s biggest manufacturer so that the cartels and middlemen of Kenya can get a chance to sell their more expensive fertiliser to the government.
As compared to Kenya, 50kg DAP in Ethiopia sells for USD20 (Sh2000) despite being a landlocked country.
In Tanzania the same bag sells for Sh2,400.
In Kenya, the ‘discounted’ price stands at Sh3,000. In the open market today brands like Fanaka are selling at between Sh3,200 and Sh3,800.
This trend has gone on for years despite protests by farmer.
In the meantime the NCPB does not even have with them the money accruing from sale at 50 per cent which was supposed to be a revolving fund.
It is time the government took this matter seriously to save the farmer.