In January 2023, President William Ruto told the nation that his ambitious program of digitising farmer’s records in Kenya would be a game changer in curbing the nation’s perennial food shortage.
A survey done by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) on May 2023, revealed that indeed, the exercise had revolutionised farming in Kenya and increased farm output.
The Agriculture Survey noted that through Ruto’s innovation, over three-quarters of farmers in the country were able to receive subsidised fertiliser by the end of May 2023.
“The respondents of the survey indicated that the registration and distribution of the subsidized fertilizer had improved significantly.
“This was because the notifications on the registration and availability of the subsidised fertiliser are sent via cell phones,” the survey hailed the program.
Due to the innovation, 29 per cent of Kenyan farmers had received subsidised fertiliser from the government by the end of March 2023.
An additional 43 per cent received their share of cheap fertiliser from the government by the end of May 2023.
The few who did not receive the fertiliser explained that it stemmed from their self-induced challenges and external factors.
The challenges included wrong timing, long queues, long distances, corruption, and not being contacted despite registration.
With many Kenyans able to access incentives from the government through Ruto’s digitisation program, farmers were using inorganic fertiliser to boost agricultural output.
“Use of farm inputs that embody modern technology has the potential to increase the level of output and reduce food insecurity for the masses whose mainstay is agriculture.
“In the May 2023 survey use of inorganic fertilizer ranked highest followed by organic fertilizer (manure),” the report indicated how Ruto was revolutionising agriculture.
While touting his innovation, Ruto in January 2023, rightly predicted that his initiative would increase agricultural production and eliminate hunger.
“It will be easier to drive out cartels in the sector. Leveraging technology will make government services more efficient and accessible,” the President promised Kenyans then.