Fuel shortage, high prices disrupt agricultural activities


Motorists queue at the Kabsabet Shell gas station in Nandi county on March 30, 2022. [Christopher Kipsang,Standard]

North Rift farmers want the government to urgently address the fuel shortage that has disrupted the planting season.

Despite the start of the rainy season, most farmers cannot plow their land due to lack of fuel.

Fredrick Rono, maize farmer in Kitale, Trans Nzoia, described the fuel crisis as frustrating. He said most of the farmers, who were preparing their farms for planting, were forced to stop due to the shortage of fuel.

“We were excited when the long rains started. However, the shortage of fuel and diesel has really hit us,” he said.

A spot check in Kitale showed that some petrol stations were running out of fuel, with the product selling for between 135 and 150 shillings a litre.

Obiri Matundura, a large farmer from Simatwet, said the shortage of fuel and the rush for limited stock affected the start of the planting season.

“Land preparation requires a huge amount of diesel to run the tillage machines and the shortage has affected us,” Matundura said.

In Turkana, more than 10 gas stations closed after running out of fuel.

Turkana Independent Petroleum Outlets General Secretary Abdi Hajji, who also owns Sagal petrol station in Lodwar, said they were not ready to resume operations until the government addressed fuel prices.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority had said it was working to ensure normalcy, working with the Petroleum Ministry and petroleum marketing companies.

He had said that there were sufficient stocks of petroleum products in the country.

[Compiled by Osinde Obare, Christopher Kipsang, Lucas Ngasike]

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