Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi at the Meru NCPB Depot.

County governments have until February 15 to identify stores in every ward across the country to ease access of subsidized fertilizer for farmers, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has said.

Speaking in Meru while inspecting a maize dryer and aflatoxin testing lab at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depot on Thursday, CS Linturi said the government was keen on doubling the amount of subsidized fertilizer accessible to farmers this year.

Linturi said NCPB and the national administration were ready to provide support to counties to ensure the ward stores are up and running ahead of the next planting season.

The CS said the government will distribute 12 million bags of subsidized fertilizer this year up from eight million bags in the previous year.

He said the enhanced supply of subsidized fertilizer is part of the government’s effort to raise the amount of maize produced locally from 61 million bags to 80 million bags this year.

“Despite these efforts, we are aware that about 40 percent of our produce is lost to post harvest losses. This is why we have set up aflatoxin testing labs across the country. We are also providing dryers so that our farmers do not suffer losses,” the CS said.

He said farmers will be able to access the NCPB dryers at Sh70 per bag noting that the rate has been subsidized.

Meru is among the aflatoxin contamination hotspots in the country which also include Machakos, Makueni, Kitui, Tharaka Nithi, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Kwale, Kajiado and Kilifi.

Past studies found Meru grains to have toxin levels of 46.6 parts per billion (ppb) above the safe limit of 10 ppb.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here