Immediately after his swearing-in, President William Ruto on Tuesday, September 13, gave farmers a pleasant surprise by lowering the prices of fertilizer from Ksh6,500 for a 50-kilogram bag to Ksh3,500.
Speaking during his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani Stadium, Ruto noted that the new prices would come into effect next week as his administration works on transforming the agricultural sector in the country, signaling welcome news to farmers.
He shunned the practice of hoarding used to increase the prices of commodities and called upon the county governments to ensure fertilizer is available to local farmers as a way of enhancing productivity.
“For the short rains, we have already made arrangements to make 1.4 million bags of fertilizers available at Ksh3,500 for a 50 kg bag – down from Ksh6,500.”
“This fertilizer will be available from next week. I appeal to county governments in East, Central and Western regions to work with us in making sure that this fertilizer is available so that we can begin the journey to increase our food production initiatives.
The Head of State affirmed that their mandate to lower the cost of living was predicated on the cost of production and commodities.
“In our economic forums during the campaigns, citizens shared their anxiety and pain over this matter. On fuel subsidy, taxpayers spent 160 billion in the last four months alone, if the subsidy continues to the end of the financial year, it will cost Ksh280 billion equivalent to the entire national government development budget.”
Ruto also castigated the efforts by Uhuru’s administration to subsidise Unga in the lead-up to the election. He noted that it gobbled up Ksh7 billion in one month alone.
“Additionally, there was an attempt to subsidize maize flour in the run-up to the election- a program that cost Ksh7 billion in one month. In addition to being very costly, consumption subsidy interventions are prone to manipulation and create uncertainty including artificial shortage,” he stated.
Ruto promised that he would address the challenges in the production sector and work towards empowering the local farmers.