County in top gear to distribute subsidized fertilizer before rains
Written by Jeremy Ogolla
Nakuru County is in top gear to receive and redistribute the subsidized fertilizer issued by the National Government to all farmers ahead of the expected March rains.
The low-cost fertilizer project launched by the National Government, through a programme dubbed Fertilizer Subsidy Programme (FSP), will see farmers get the fertilizer directly without going through cartels.
The Agriculture County Executive Committee Member (CECM) Leonard Kipkoech Bor said the distribution, which comes as farmers prepare for planting, is aimed at improving food security in the County, which is key to H.E Governor Susan Kihika’s administration.
“We want to bring these fertilizers close to the farmers, so far we have identified the strategic places where we can hold as we distribute the fertilizer,” said Mr Bor.
The Agriculture CECM said out of six depots, the only store that has so far received the fertilizer is the Nakuru Depot with at least 35 thousand bags of both YARA and NPK, he pointed out that by tomorrow all the depots shall have received the remaining bags.
“We are engaging seriously to see how we can have the NCPB and the KNTC give us additional staff to ensure we have enough manpower to go to the rural areas where people can come to redeem their vouchers and make payment,” said Agriculture CECM.
Mr Bor added that the county administration is committed to delivering the fertilizer to the nearest proximity of the farmers to save time and travelling costs. He reiterated that as a department, they are committed to doing their part in line with the governor’s instruction of ensuring that all farmers across the county get the fertilizer in time.
“The rains are almost starting and in two weeks’ time, our farmers will have access to the fertilizers for planting because normally the long rains are intensive towards the end of March and in April,” said the CECM.
Mr Bor who was speaking during the visit of the Bahati agriculture sub-county offices in Bahati was also briefed on the highlights of the key achievements of the agricultural projects in the area.
According to the Agriculture officers, the pyrethrum farming project has boosted the morale of farmers in the area especially since the county brought in a lot of processors with the acreage having gone up and the farmers reaping well from the good sales.
The County has also helped avocados farmers in navigating through unscrupulous middlemen. Through capacity building, the farmers were helped to form the Nakuru Agribusiness Cooperative Society which will enable them to easily link with an exporter and collectively sell their produce at a profit.
The CECM who was flanked by other county officials also made a whirlwind tour of various agricultural projects within the Sub-county initiated by the County administration in collaboration with other stakeholders to help support the farmers.
He visited Mutungati Farmers Coffee Cooperatives which the county government has been supporting with seedlings and borehole sinking.
The Mutungati farmers expressed optimism that the county administration will further support them in terms of purchasing a modern pulping machine to replace the old one which has got a lot of breakages and low efficiency during the coffee pulping process.
They also scouted the 38 million litre Wanyororo B dam, sitting on a five-acre piece of land, in Bahati sub-county which is yet to be commissioned.
Initiated by the County Government of Nakuru and NARIG project, the Wanyororo dam project will see thousands of households benefit immensely and reduce their over-dependency on rain-fed agriculture during periods of drastic climatic changes.