An aggressive programme of providing subsidised fertiliser and seeds to poor farmers has been launched. Some 274,000 metrictonnes of assorted types of fertiliser worth Kshs l2 billion was distributed under this project, signiﬁcantly boosting production.
The net effect has been a lowering of fertiliser prices by more than 85 per cent. Last year, subsidised fertiliser cost Kshs 2, 450 for a 50 kgbag, significantly lower than the Kshs4, 600 charged by private dealers.
In a bid to reduce costs further,the Government plans to partner with the private sector to set up a fertiliser manufacturing plant in the country. Kenya spends about Kshs 80 billion annually on fertiliser imports.
The country has deposits of rock phosphate and other fertiliser raw materials. The phosphate deposits are at Mrima hills in the Coast region and Homa Bay hills in Nyanza.
Fertiliser usage in East Africa is expected to reach more than a million metric tonnes by the year 2020, which forms a good market for local manufacturers.