Kenya’s current lack of rainfall is causing some concern among coffee farmers, but that is something out of their control. However, the skyrocketing costs of fertiliser were supposed to be eased by generous subsidies announced in February.

The government said it would create a Sh 1bn ($8.7m) fund to subsidise 40% of the fertiliser costs to the farmer. In addition, farmers would be issued a special card to use when buying fertiliser. Yet, many say the prices are still unaffordable and ask the government to do more to save the coffee industry and prevent an internal food crisis.

The plan was to be implemented by the New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (New KPCU), but there were already problems with the funding, among claims of misappropriation.

Farmers and their MP’s are lashing out at the government for failing to provide the full subsidies, which they say, has been diverted under the guise of security to fund political campaigns.

Kimani Ichungwa, a Kikuyu MP, revealed that a sum of money had been withdrawn from a government account to buy off politicians. He warned of consequences if they are found responsible.

Those in Government should know that they will be held accountable individually for the embezzlement of public funds diverted to political campaigns

Kimani Ichungwa, MP

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