State to set up database for farmers, fertiliser recipients
The government will move to identify all farmers across the country in a bid to weed out unscrupulous individuals benefiting from subsidised farm products including fertiliser.
Devolution Principal Secretary Micah Powon said Thursday that the State is developing a database for all genuine farmers to weed out middlemen who exploit market gaps to profit from resources meant for small-holder farmers.
This will come as a relief to growers in the North Rift region who have previously said that subsidised fertiliser from government benefits wealthy farmers rather than small-scale ones who are the target of the subsidy.
“The database will constitute all farmers doing genuine farming especially crops which are targeted in the subsidy program of fertilisers…so that we avoid cases whereby middlemen exploit them,” Mr Powon said.
“We are setting up a database of all farmers who are participating in maize production in our country…so that when it comes to harvesting period, if a farmer is not in the database he will not be considered for uptake of their maize. It is a control measure to ensure farmers’ crops are taken by the government,” he said.
He said the government aims at improving food availability by increasing maize production from the current 40 million bags in 2017 to 67 million bags by 2022.
Rice is also set to increase from 112,800 tonnes to 406,486 tonnes and potatoes from 1.3 million tonnes to 2.52 tonnes over the same period.
The strategy to improve food security includes enhancing large-scale production and putting an additional 700,000 acres through Private Public Partnerships under maize, potatoes, rice, cotton, aquaculture and feeds production.
“We will use locally blended fertilisers, give incentives to reduce post-harvest technologies. We will also provide coordination for irritated agriculture,” the PS said.