President Ruto Assures Kenyan Farmers of Enough Stock Amid Fake Fertiliser Scandal

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President William Ruto has assured Kenyan farmers across the country that there is sufficient stock to meet their demand while warning unscrupulous business people behind fake fertilisers being reported in the market.

Speaking on Monday when he made an impromptu visit at the Eldoret National Cereals and Produce Board Depot in Uasin Gishu County, the head of state, however, noted that the process must be accelerated on account of increased rains across the country.

“I am committed to ensuring enough food production to support more livelihoods by reducing the cost of farm inputs so that we can tackle hunger,” he said.

He warned that those behind the sale of the fake fertilisers will face the law.

The President noted that he will keep pushing for the reduction of fertiliser prices so as to make farming more profitable.

“And we do not want to confine this to maize cultivation. We are broadening our range of crops so that our earnings can go up.”

The President noted that it is possible to turn farming into a lucrative venture.

“It is possible for agriculture to drive our industrialisation and spur our exports.”

Fake fertiliser controversy

Currently, there are reports of fake fertiliser being sold to farmers something that is putting the government’s effort to enhance food production through providing farmers with subsidised fertiliser at risk.

Appearing before the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock yesterday to shade light on the fake fertiliser controversy, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mithika Linturi was put to task to table full report about probe on the fake fertiliser in the market.

However, the CS asked the committee for more time to do so and furnish lawmakers with all the documents needed in the ongoing probe into fake fertiliser distributed in Kenya under the disguise of government-subsidised fertiliser.

“I earnestly request additional time to furnish the material purported to be annexed but isn’t, as there is no concealment involved,” said Linturi.

Linturi, his Trade counterpart Rebecca Miano and officials from KEBS, the National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB), the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) are among those whom the Parliament has summoned to explain how fake fertiliser was distributed in government depots.

Investigations

To date, eight KEBS officials have faced suspension in relation to the counterfeit fertilizer scandal. They were interdicted due to their involvement in certifying and endorsing the quality of products from two companies implicated in distributing substandard fertilizer.

During the weekend, authorities in Bungoma intercepted a truck transporting 120 bags of suspected counterfeit fertilizer following reports of repackaging activities at a local fuel station.

In the previous month, authorities confiscated 700 bags of counterfeit fertilizer in Kakamega, and in Nakuru, investigators intercepted 560 bags destined for delivery to Molo NCPB stores.

Additionally, over 2,650 bags that had already been distributed to farmers have been recalled as both the DCI and Parliament investigate the issue.