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Agric Scandal: Fake Fertilisers, Seeds Sold To Kenya Farmers

* President orders prosecution of suppliers * Indicted govt officials arrested, detained

By Our Reporter

Against the background of the fertilisers and seeds scandal that was recently busted in Kenya, President William Ruto has ordered government officials to fast-track the distribution of subsidised fertilisers to farmers in the East African country.

The President, who gave the directives when he made an impromptu visit to the depot of National Cereals and Produce Board (NCBP) in Eldoret on Monday, said government will support the victims to take advantage of the long rains to plant crops.

”Every farmers affected through the purchase of fake fertilisers will get correct fertiliser in return, “he assured, adding that “the company that was involved should compensate farmers who bought fake fertiliser and they should be given new fertiliser free of charge.”

President Ruto, who was visibly angry as a result of the scandal, told farmers who had gone to redeem their e-vouchers at the NCPB stores that the fraudsters who sold fake fertilisers and seeds to farmers will be arrested and prosecuted.

He said the fraudsters were out to undermine the food production programme of his administration by selling fake fertilisers and seeds to unsuspecting farmers.

The President, however, assured farmers of sufficient stock of subsidized fertiliser, noting that he had directed NCBP to hasten the distribution of fertilers to the farmers on account of increased rains across the country.

“We are reducing the cost of farm inputs so that we can tackle hunger. I promised I will sort out the fertilser issue,” he reiterated.

Meanwhile, at least eight senior officials of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KeBS) have been suspended over the fake fertiliser fraud.

Relying on The Star reports, NatureNews notes that the officials are being detained, pending the outcome of the probe into the matter by the Director of Criminal Investigtios (DCI) and the Kenyan Parliament.

Official sources disclosed that the eight senior officials were indicted over the issuance of certification and marks of quality to two companies , which have been linked to the sub-standard fertiliser.

Detectives have summoned for grilling several other officials from government agencies that handled the fake fertiliser in circulation, in addition to the eight that were grilled by the DCI last weekend.

Justifying the exemption of DAP from its fertiliser subsidy programme when he appeared before the National Assembly’s Agriculture Committee on Monday, the Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Agriculture, Mithika Linturi said the government exempted DAP ”to heal our sick soils” that have been acidified over time due to prolong use of DAP.

”This country has depended on or has used DAP and DAP fertilisers has the ability and effects of acidifying the soil”, he said, adding that ” hence the programme of fertiliser that we are running does not have DAP as part of the fertiliser we are distributing to the farmers”.


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