The government is set to start importing fertiliser from Tanzania in July in a bid to enhance agricultural output and decrease the cost of food production, according to Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi.
During a visit to Itracom, the manufacturer of Fomi fertiliser in Tanzania, the CS noted that by importing fertiliser from Tanzania, Kenya will cut its dependence on European countries and Morocco.
Mr Linturi also assured farmers that the government would keep subsidizing manure and maintain its current price of KES 3,500 until a permanent solution is established.
“The government will import fertiliser from Tanzania starting July this year as a short-term measure. I do not see the need to import fertiliser from faraway countries when we have it in Tanzania. Because of the cheaper raw materials, and the distance between Kenya and Tanzania, this will ensure we have cheap fertiliser for our farmers,” said Mr Linturi.
He further explained that the firm’s production model, which incorporates the use of organic manure and phosphorus, has been shown to have the potential to double crop production by enriching the soil.
“The farm input has increased food production by up to 39 per cent and reduced the cost of production in Tanzania,” he said.
In the long term, the CSsaid the government intends to invest in manure production to reduce the high cost of food production in the country.
“Having a fertiliser manufacturing plant has the potential of spurring agricultural production by reducing the price of purchasing the critical farm input, resulting in reduced cost of food production,” CS Mithika Linturi.
Currently, the country relies heavily on imports as various attempts to set up manufacturing plants have become a cropper due to various reasons.