Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, on Wednesday, announced that a new system where farmers will be able to get fertilizers, at subsidized prices, using their electronic identity cards at agro-sales points near them, has been introduced.
The ministry said that equipment, fitted with the latest technology had been imported and will be installed in each of the sectors across the country. Farmers will use their national IDs to print vouchers that will enable them access the fertilizers from suppliers.
There is no doubt that fertilizers are a key input for successful farming. However, there are some farmers across the country who do not apply them because they are either unaware of the benefits, or do not have the financial ability to buy them at market prices.
The ministry’s move, therefore, to avail fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices is a welcome development.
Most farmers will now afford the fertilizers, and will be assured of increased yields and more profits.
However, it’s also important that the ministry offers additional support to the farmers in terms of the identifying the kind of fertilizers that would be appropriate for the crops they have chosen to produce.
Farmers, on their part, should take advantage of the facility to increase food production. There have been reports indicating that some farmers get the fertilizers at subsidized prices and sell them, rather than use them to increase their production. Mechanisms to put an end to this abuse should be put in place.