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December 31, 2008

Government subsidy to reduce fertliser prices in Kenya

by Sammy Cheboi

The price of fertiliser in Kenya is set to come down significantly in the next one month following government intervention.

Farmers will buy a 50kilogramme bag of double ammonium phosphate (DAP) at Sh2,700; down from Sh6,000, when a new consignment arrives in January 2009.

Agriculture minister William Ruto... also disclosed that the government had successfully negotiated to have the price of calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) reduced to Sh1,400 per 50kg bag. It was retailing at Sh2, 700 last planting season.

“We have good news for our farmers. We have successfully negotiated and confirmed a reduction in prices of fertiliser which should be in the country by end of January.”

The minister said the government would continue making sure that farmers have access to affordable farm inputs to effectively engage in food production.

At the same time, the minister, through a gazette notice, has banned the export of maize flour from the country in an effort to stem the current food crisis being witnessed in the country.

Mr Ruto said despite the maize export ban the government imposed last month, some unscrupulous businessmen were circumventing it by exporting maize in form of maize flour.

“I have signed a gazette notice to ban the export of maize flour from the country. Some businessmen are exporting maize in form of maize flour, thus defying the ban we had imposed on maize export.”

He said arrangements for the importation of five million bags of maize had been finalised and expressed confidence that this would lead to a significantly drop in cost of maize in the country.

He said a 90kg bag would cost Sh1,800, down from about Sh3,000 that imported maize previously cost.

Last month, the government announced plans to import five million bags of maize to stem a shortage and skyrocketing prices of the staple food commodity in the country. The maize importation would be undertaken jointly by the government and the private sector.

Mr Ruto also revealed that the Government has opened an avenue for consumers to access maize directly from the National Cereals and Produce Board depots countrywide.

The Nation

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