President William Ruto has said that the country is projected to harvest 61 million bags of maize this year, up from harvested 44 million last year, thanks to fertilizer subsidies.
Speaking Thursday in Kiambu Town, Ruto stated that as a result of the government’s intervention that saw fertilizer prices fall from Sh7,000 to 3,500, farmers from across the country cultivated 200, 000 more acres which he says has led to improved food production.
He noted that this year’s increased crop yields demonstrate that his government is on the right trajectory in its quest to lower food prices in the country.
“Last year, we harvested 44 million bags because farmers could not afford high fertilizer costs at the time. This year, however, due to the intervention measures we have put in place, including subsidizing fertilizer costs, we expect the harvest to increase from 44 million bags to 61 million bags,” Ruto said.
In addition to the 3.5 million bags provided to farmers this year, Ruto disclosed that the government will distribute an additional 3 million bags of fertilizer next year bringing the total to 6.5 million.
He urged farmers throughout the country who have yet to register for the program to do so in order to benefit from it.
The Head of State regretted the current state of food security in the country noting that his administration is committed to correcting the situation.
“We must address the issue of hunger in our country once and for all. It is deeply regrettable that some of our countrymen and women are still sleeping hungry 60 years after independence,” Ruto said
“It is the biggest shame we can have as a nation and we must deal with it, with finality.”
He lauded farmers for their efforts in contributing towards attaining food security in the country.
On august 2, President Ruto announced the second phase of the fertilizer subsidy program, which will see a 50-kg bag of fertilizer now cost Sh2,500, down from Sh3,500.
Addressing the nation at the Statehouse in Nairobi, Ruto said affordable fertilizer will boost crop production in the coming short rain season.
Ruto encouraged farmers across the country to redouble the use of the subsidized fertilizers distributed by the government at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) in order to increase production, thus lowering the high cost of living.
“We expect significant high uptake of the subsidized fertilizer, we are appealing to our farmers to redouble the use of 50kg bags of fertilizer per acre to get more yields ranging from 20 to 25 bags harvested per acre,” he said on august 2.
The President added that his government will increase farmers credit kits from Sh2 million to Sh10 million so that farmers can access affordable credit loans to buy farm Inputs.
Additionally, 100 dryer machines will be distributed to farmers at an affordable rate in all NCPB offices across the country, where the government will cover half of the cost of the purchase.