Nairobi — President-Elect William Ruto says he will announce new fertilizer prices this week after he held consultations with various stakeholders.
Speaking during a thanksgiving interdenominational service in Meru Sunday, the president-elect says tis will bolster the agricultural sector which he says is the backbone of the economy.
“We have had meetings with those in the Ministry of Agriculture and we will announce new fertilizers prices that we will be reduced this week,” he stated.
“We have started a journey of changing the agriculture sector,” the President-Elect said.
The statement comes even as he promised to announce reduced prices of Unga.
“Already I have had talks with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture so that we can work on the prices of Unga so I will announce to the cereal farmers the new fertilizer prices,” he said.
“Right now, they are buying fertilizers at Sh6,500 but we will give them new prices so that they can produce the agricultural products which will help reduce the maize prices,” he added.
In his campaign pledges, Ruto had vowed to lower the prices of farming products if elected. He had pledged to lower fertilizer prices from Sh6,000 to Sh2,500.
Ruto assured that his administration will lower the cost of agricultural input and cut off brokers and cartels frustrating farmers.
The price of planting fertilizer in the current season hit a high of over Sh6,500 while CAN for top dressing was between Sh6,000 and Sh7,000 depending on the outlets while urea was over Sh7,000 per 50 kg bag.
A section of maize farmers hit out at the Government over delays in availing subsidised fertilizers in the country.
They said the shortage of fertilizers led to hiking of the prices and exploitation of producers of food by the traders who supply farm inputs in the North Rift region.
According to the farmers, the fertilizers subsidy supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture in June was not accessed by the majority of farmers, they were forced to grow their crops with insufficient inputs, a move that could compromise productivity at the end of the season later in the year.
The use of fertilizers in agricultural productivity is threatened following recent spikes in fertilizer attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, restricted efforts in countries like China, Russia, and Turkey to protect their farmers compounded by heavy consumption demand from India, Brazil, and USA buying up large quantities, hence reducing available global supplies.