The price of fertiliser has increased by a margin of about 50% in retail price, threatening the country’s food security. The prices doubled up from the long rains planting season of March-April-May (2021) as the cost of a 50kg bag of DAP fertiliser shot from Sh2, 500 in April to Sh5, 000 by end of last year. Covid-19 pandemic led to low production and some manufacturers cut down on production of some inputs hence the high prices (https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/star-farmer/2021-11-23-food-shortage-looms-as-fertiliser-prices-hit-record-high/).
Urea fertiliser, which is usually a cheap nitrogenous fertiliser, is currently more expensive than DAP. Urea has only one nutrient, while DAP has two nutrients, yet it is more expensive than DAP. The imports that are coming in for DAP, for example, will be selling at around Sh5, 000 to Sh5, 200 for a 50kg bag at the Port of Mombasa, said by the chairman of fertilizer association of Kenya.
During the same time last year, a 50kg bag of DAP sold at Sh2,200 while CAN fertiliser was Sh1, 400 in Mombasa. In March, the prices increased to Sh1, 700 for CAN, DAP fertiliser was between Sh2, 900 and Sh3, 000 while NPK was at Sh2, 500 at the Port of Mombasa. Farmers must grow their crops and it will be important if the government intervenes or the farmers may be forced to grow crops without fertilizing them.
A picture of 50kgs DAP Fertilizer