, KITALE, Kenya Oct 29 – Deputy President William Ruto has announced new maize prices that will see farmers earn Sh3,000 up from Sh2,300 for a 90 kg bag.
The Deputy President said the price of maize will be progressively reviewed each year and assured that the Government will continue reducing the cost of farming.
He said: “The official buying price as agreed by the Government and stakeholders is going to be Sh3000 per bag.”
Speaking at the Kitale Agriculture Society of Kenya (ASK) show in Trans Nzoia County, Ruto instructed the Ministry of Agriculture to buy fertilizer from local manufacturers to promote local industries. Already a fertilizer factory is near completion in Eldoret.
The Deputy President was accompanied by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett, Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba, Senator Henry Ndiema and Women Representative Janet Nangabo Wanyama.
Ruto said the Government has spent Sh20 billion on subsidized fertilizer.
He said the two fertilizer factories in Kenya are ready to produce fertilizer, which will be produced to suit the soil and crops grown in different parts of the country.
He said: “Fertilizer must not only be soil specific but also crop specific for every region.”
At the same time, the Deputy President asked local fertilizer producers to be up to the task because the government wants to promote local manufacturers.
Ruto also asked the Ministry of Agriculture to expedite the registration of farmers so that the Government can cut out middle men who take advantage of the subsidized fertilizer project.
He said: “The Ministry of Agriculture should expedite the registration of farmers so that the subsidized fertilizer can only be sold to farmers.”
His sentiments were echoed by Bett who said his ministry is fast tracking the registration of farmers.
Bett said the farmers register will ensure the government only deals with farmers and not traders when buying maize and issuing the subsidized fertilizer.
He noted that some traders have been buying maize from farmers at very low prices and selling to the Government at higher prices, a practice he said the farmers’ registration will address.
The Agriculture Cabinet Secretary said: “We will ensure those who bring maize to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) are farmers.”
Ruto appealed to county governments to facilitate the diversification of farming in the counties and encourage farming of other crops other than the usual crops.
The Deputy President lauded County Governments for supporting farmers and modernizing agriculture.
He said: “County governments have become valuable partners in the expansion and transformation of agriculture.”
Khaemba said Trans Nzoia County has encouraged farmers to grow other crops apart from maize, such as coffee and bananas.