High fuel prices barring small holder farmers from timely planting

High fuel prices barring small holder farmers from timely planting
  • High fuel prices has made planting too expensive
  • The cost of ploughing an acre of land has jumped by Sh700 hitting Sh2, 500, up from Sh1, 800 it cost last season
  • The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) attributes skyrocketing fuel costs to the high cost of importation as well as a hike in global fuel prices

A recent hike in fuel prices has almost doubled the cost of ploughing, locking out a majority of smallholder farmers across the country from planting their crops ahead of the rainy season.

A special report reveals that the cost of ploughing an acre of land has jumped by as much as Sh700, hitting Sh2, 500, up from Sh1, 800 it cost last season.

In maize growing regions such as Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, and Bungoma, a liter of diesel is currently selling at Sh90 compared to Sh70 during a similar period in the last planting season.

In its latest review, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) attributed skyrocketing fuel costs to the high cost of importation as well as a hike in global fuel prices.

Experts say timely planting is important as it guarantees high production thus enabling food security.

READ ALSO:   Uneven rainfall threatens agriculture sector’s stability, new report warns

“High cost of planting, which includes the high cost of ploughing, locks out smaller farmers who are key in agriculture sector from timely planting thus encouraging poor harvest,” said Vincent Munubi, an Agriculture Economist from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

Food prices in the month of February hit record highs last seen in 2012. Poor harvest witnessed during the previous season has been a major driver of inflation.

 

 

 

 

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