On Tuesday, coffee farmers from Mutheka coffee cooperative society in Nyeri county benefitted from the government-subsidized fertilizer at almost half price.
Through the program, which is being overseen by the new Kenya Planters Co-operative Union(KPCU), the farmers received the fertilizer at a cost of Sh3,024 as opposed to the selling price at the local agro vets which stand at Sh6,000.
Speaking during the exercise at the society secretary-manager Ephantus Kihia said that over 1300 farmers out of the total 4000 will receive the fertilizer that will enable their production to increase from a mere 800,000 kilograms to over 3 million.
“Our society is capable of producing 3 million kilograms of raw cherry , however, due to lack of farm inputs this year we were only able to produce 800,000 kilograms, this will improve once we get such assistance from government.” Ephantus Kihia.
Last month, the Ministry of Agriculture launched a Sh300million fertilizer subsidy aimed at reviving the coffee industry in coffee-growing areas.
Agriculture CS Peter Munya while launching the program said that the government will foot 40 per cent of the cost while the farmers will pay 60 per cent.
Isaack Kiara Mugweru a field officer at KPCU said that they will follow the application of the commodity to ensure that farmers increase their yields. Farmers were optimistic saying that they will now be able to conduct their farming as opposed to other years since they could afford the commodity.
The move by the government to provide fertilizer to farmers comes at a time when the country’s production has gone to an all-time low of 20,000 metric tonnes as opposed to 80,000 tonnes in the eighties.