Hostility to ensue in Parliament over fertilizer subsidy fund
President Uhuru Kenyatta has been put to task by Members of Parliament to necessitate the return of a Ksh.5.7 billion fertilizer fund that has been removed from the supplementary budget by the Treasury or they paralyze the passage of the Ksh.138 billion mini-budget come March 29, 2022.
According to the National Assembly Committee for Agriculture, the Treasury transferred the funds that were meant for fertilizer subsidy to the security docket.
“We will paralyze the supplementary budget on Tuesday if nothing happens to reinstate the entire amount between now and then,” said Silas Tiren, chairman of the committee.
According to a Business Daily report, the Ksh.5.7 billion is estimated to offer subsidies on 114,000 metric tons of various types of fertilizers for 910,000 vulnerable farmers. Currently in Kenya, the price of fertilizer is retailing at Ksh.7000 compared to Ksh.4000 last year.
This, however, has been catalysed by the ongoing war between Russia and Tension. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of planting fertilizer as of 2021, according to a Business Daily report.
Parliament has already said it would include Ksh.3. billion in the supplementary budget for the financial year ending June to solve the growing high cost of fertilizer.
The ministry requires at least Ksh.31.8 billion to effectively provide the subsidy to farmers, through which price of fertilizer would be lowered to Ksh.2800
In 2007, the Government of Kenya introduced the Kenya National Accelerated Agricultural Input Access Programme ( NAAIAP) for farmers who still could not afford inorganic fertilizers. The program’s “Kilimo Plus” was a voucher for fertilizer and improved maize seed that targeted small-scale farmers could redeem at private agro-dealers.
The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) had in January this year said it would begin to sell or distribute any government-subsidized fertilizer