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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya will revamp fertilizer value chains to boost food production

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s ministry of agriculture is banking on streamlined fertilizer production and supply chains to boost food production at small-holder level, officials said on Tuesday.

Mwangi Kiunjuri, cabinet secretary for agriculture, livestock and fisheries, said that new regulations to govern the fertilizer industry in Kenya are in the works to ensure the commodity reaches small-holder farmers grappling with declining soil health.

“The government is partnering with fertilizer manufacturers to enhance seamless supply of the commodity to small-scale farmers dealing with the challenge of poor soil health that has affected food production,” said Kiunjuri.

He spoke in Nairobi during a national fertilizer conference whose theme was increasing agricultural productivity through improved access and use of quality fertilizers.

Delegates attending the two-day forum who include policymakers, industry executives and representatives of farmers’ groups are expected to come up with robust action plans to revamp fertilizer production in Kenya.

Kiunjuri noted that rollout of subsidies, recruitment of extension workers and farmer education have boosted fertilizer use while having a positive impact on food and nutrition security in the country.

“Government subsidies have lowered the cost of critical farm inputs like fertilizers that are central to realization of adequate production of staples like maize, wheat and rice,” said Kiunjuri.

“We have also intensified crackdown on sub-standard fertilizer that poses a threat to health of farmers and consumers of agricultural produce,” he added.

Kenya ranks among the four African countries where fertilizer use is high thanks to a shift to mechanized agriculture that promise food security and improved export earnings.

           

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