Farmers in Sebei and Elgon Sub-regions have embraced farming in the second season following the reduction in the prices of fertilizers, a major input for crops.
The first planting season starts from April to August and the second starts from August to December annually.
The price of a 50-kilogram bag of fertilizer in the first season was 300,000 Shillings but currently, it is reduced to 175,000 Shillings.
Ismail Chemutai, a farmer Kaptanya sub-county in Kapchorwa says, that, his 3-acre piece of land at which he used to harvest 90 bags of maize saw him harvest 23, bags in the 1st season because of the high prices.
He explains that there is hope for a better yield in the second season because the farmers can afford to buy fertilizers.
Murami Mohammed, an Onion farmer says, he could not plant much last season due to the high prices of the inputs. According to Murami, engaging in multiple farming in the second season will help him recover from losses he made during the first planting season.
Isaac Chesakit, another farmer who was affected by the fertilizer prices, says that as he plants in the second season, he has also decided to purchase more fertilizers for stock in preparation for next year.
“I have bought more fertilizers for stock, for fears that the prices may shoot up from this current affordable rate in the next planting season,” said Chesakit. Isaac Nabwana, the Sales Manager at Export and trading company inputs (ETG), the supplier of the fertilizers says that the reduction of the price will improve farmer production and food security.
Justin Yeko Jims, District Commercial Officer Kapchorwa, says that in the first planting season, the yields were crippled with poor harvests because the farmers could not afford to purchase the fertilizers due to the hiked prices.
“The previous season was marred with hiking of almost all the farm inputs, not only fertilizers, even the seedlings, more than farmers’ expectations. Adding that, firm inputs doubled in prices,” said Yeko.
Stella Adumo, a researcher at National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) says, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has driven up high global agricultural commodity prices including fertilizers, which could affect cereal harvests and cause food insecurity in the Eastern Africa Region.
The crops planted by farmers in the second season are mainly Irish Potatoes Cabbage, and onions respectively.