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SMS system improves access to subsidised fertiliser 

Fr kyfzWIAQN9MABy George Munene

According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Agriculture sector survey of March 2023 the registration and distribution of government subsidised fertiliser had improved from 20 per cent in early November 2022 to 29 per cent early March 2023 owing to messages sent via cell phone notifying farmers of the registration and availability of the subsidised fertilisers.

Access to subsidised fertiliser is expected to rise since the distribution is still ongoing . 

Farmers yet to receive the subsidised fertiliser cited a lag between the date of receipt of the notification and redemption of the voucher. Some of those not registered cited poor quality of the fertiliser, limited stocks, delayed delivery and lack of money.

Related News: Only 20% of farmers have access to subsidized fertiliser–CBK report

Related News: Farmers argue subsidised fertiliser useless without reliable irrigation

With below-average rains being experienced across most of the country due to the ongoing drought, farmers (76 per cent of whom said they relied on rainfed agriculture) argued that even with the distribution of government-subsidised fertiliser,there was little they could do without a sustainable water source.

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“Government has registered five million farmers and distribution of subsidised fertiliser is being implemented digitally and efficiently,” said State House Spokesman Hussein Mohammed in a presser held on Friday last week.  

He urged farmers to register at their nearest Assistant Chief’s offices to access the subsidised fertiliser of which 1,061,000 bags had been bought at a subsidised rate of Sh3,500 per bag.

Related News: GOK gives Kericho farmers 50% organic fertiliser shown to double yield

E vouchers are being used for issuing agriculture subsidy programmes due to their efficiency and to wall off middle men in the fertiliser business.

The Agriculture sector survey was introduced by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in July 2022 to complement the CEOs and Market Perceptions Surveys. It is aimed at generating high frequency agriculture sector data to provide additional information to support monetary policy decisions.

Photo Credit: Gladys Nyambura, Agriculture Ministry 

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