The Peasant Farmers Association is hoping its meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture will yield favourable results on its concerns over the government’s decision to reduce the subsidy component on the price of fertiliser for the 2021 farming season.
The move by the government according to the farmers has led to an increase in the price of fertiliser on the market, which they say poses a major challenge to them as they continue to grapple with the economic impact of COVID-19.
Head of Programs and Policy for the Peasant Farmers Association, Charles Nyaaba said his outfit is scheduled to meet with the Ministry of Agric over the issue and hopes for a favourable outcome.
“We have already had that conversation with them. The ministry thinks that we have a case because in the midst of COVID-19, things are hard for everybody, especially smallholder farmers. So if fertiliser prices are increasing, it means that farmers might not be able to buy at all and if we don’t take care, what we are experiencing this year will happen next year. Because if the fertiliser is available but the prices are so high that we can’t buy, it becomes a problem.”
“So we are expecting that when we meet them, there will be some arrangement. If not a whole shell reduction for every farmer, there should be an arrangement for smallholder farmers to be able to buy at a lower cost. So we are hoping that our meeting will yield a positive result,” he added.
Farmers were given subsidies on fertilisers under the Government’s Planting for Food and Jobs initiative.
This was to help farmers improve crop yield.
But sometime this year, the Peasant Farmers Association stated that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture mentioned it will reduce the subsidy on fertiliser.
The association had indicated that the reduction in the subsidy component will affect farmers financially.