The General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) has appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to prioritise the supply of fertilisers and seedlings ahead of the planting season under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

This, according to GAWU, will help resolve serious challenges faced by farmers in the past two years in purchasing fertilisers ahead of the season leading to low output.

Speaking to Joy Business, the General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kareweh, said farmers need to get fertilisers on time to be able to handle critical issues that may arise during the farming season.

He warned that failure to adequately supply the farm inputs could negatively affect yields in the harvesting season.

“In 2021, farmers did not get fertilisers at the right time. This is very critical to handle. If you do not get fertilisers at the right time, or you even get the fertilisers late and you apply it, you will not get the appropriate results”, he said.

Mr. Kareweh recalled that farmers had to struggle to buy fertilisers at prices over 80% the original price due to lack of the farm inputs.

“For the past two years, farmers have been struggling across all the crop areas. If you talk about maize, tomatoes, soyabeans. Farmers planting these crops have struggled in the last two years. It has been a desperate period for farmers”, he lamented.

Touching on food inflation, he stated that a pragmatic policy on the supply of fertilisers could help drive food prices down, hence inflation.