Treasury removes fertilizer subsidy from the supplementary budget
There is a looming crisis of fertilizers prices in the country after the national treasury relocated Sh5 billion allocation meant for fertilizer subsidy for farmers to the security sector.
Legislators in the Agriculture Committee have threatened to paralyze the passage of the Supplementary Budget to protest the decision by the treasury if the fertilizer subsidy is not reinstated by Tuesday.
The subsidy was meant to cushion farmers from the skyrocketing prices of fertilizer that is being experienced in many countries.
“The committee had allocated Sh5.7 billion for fertilizer subsidy. But we are shocked that there is no single shilling allocated in the Supplementary Budget,” Silas Tiren, who chairs the committee said.
“It is now that we will want to see those who think of the people they represent or those who think that they can hide behind others. This is the time that we want to know who represents who because I believe food security is very important. It will be very expensive for this country to import maize in the event we have low yield next year,” he added.
Fertilizer prices have hit an all-time high, a 50Kg bag is currently retailing at Sh6,000 making unaffordable for the small farmers. This will prompt them into planting less acreage or give up farming which will pose a big threat to attaining sustainable food security in the country.
The removal of the subsidy comes at a time when the farmers are preparing for the harvesting season with the on set of incoming long rains.
“Food security is more important than gun security. We do not need more money for security. This is a country that wants to build more mortuaries instead of building more hospitals,” said Kabuchai MP Majimbo Kalasing
The government pays half of the cost of fertilizer for farmers in the subsidy program which enables them to pay 50 per cent less.