Fertilizers Prices Go Up Ahead Of Second Planting Season

The increase in the fertilizer prices is attributed to high operational and transport costs.

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Fertilizer prices have shot up in Luweero district raising concern amongst farmers. A kilogram of Nitrogen Phosphate Potassium –NPK and Diammonium Phosphate -DAP fertilizers has jumped from 3000 to 3500 in the last one month. A trip of organic fertilizers has also increased from 20,000 to 40,000 shillings among others. The fertilizer is mainly used by farmers in maize, beans, bananas and coffee production among others. The increase in the fertilizer prices is attributed to high operational and transport costs. Farmers describe the hiked prices as prohibitive, which has forced many of them avoid using fertilizer in their garden ahead of the second planting season in August.

Sam Sserunjogi, the LC 3 chairperson Katikamu Sub County says in the last season maize farmers used a combination of NPK and DAP fertilizers, which cost them 240,000 shillings on average. Sserunjogi says now a 50 kilogram bag of fertilizers has shot up from 100,000 to 150,000 shillings, which is too costly for the farmers. He says several farmers have resorted to organic fertilizer to cut costs, which he says is equally difficult to collect in large amounts. Jonathan Mukiibi, a farmer from Nsasi village in Luweero Sub County says he has been spending 120,000 shillings on fertilizers in each of the past seasons but has failed to buy any this time around.

Mukiibi says that he has already prepared his garden for planting but will not use any fertilizer over the prohibitive costs. He appeals to the central government to subsidize farm inputs if farmers are to adopt modern farming practices to boost their yields. Robert Bwabye another farmer in Luweero Sub County says that he was hoodwinked by marketers that if he applies DAP fertilizer of 60,000 shillings he can harvest up to 1500 kilograms but he only got 900 kilograms. He explains that after recording a huge loss last season he has resorted to organic fertilizers, which is difficult to collect in large amount. But Sarah Namubiru, the Luweero District Agriculture Officer says even with the increase, the fertilizer prizes are still fair.

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The National Development Plan recently adopted by government proposes the increased use of fertilizers to boost agricultural production.