Viral statement claiming subsidised fertilizer is donation from Russian firm is fake

An employee at the Uralchem factory. [Courtesy]

A press release circulating on social media claiming that Kenya is selling fertilizer donated by a Russian company, Uralchem, as part of a subsidy to farmers is fake.

According to the statement, which is being attributed to Dmitry Konyaev, the Uralchem CEO, the firm has advised Kenyan farmers to boycott buying the donation as a State subsidy.

“It has come to the notice of our company that fertilizer donated by our company as part of combating food insecurity in Africa is being sold in Kenya as part of the fertilizer subsidy,” claims the post.

“We, therefore, with immediate effect recall the sale of our donations, and ask Kenyan farmers to boycott all efforts to sell our donations in the Kenyan market.”

The post came a day after deputy President Rigathi Gachagua unveiled subsidised fertliser prices that is targeting farmers for the short rains season.

However, Standard Checkpoint has established that the post, which continues to circulate on social media, is fake.

The Russian embassy in Kenya has flagged the statement as fake, even as this continued to stir debate on social media

“Many fakes on Russian fertilizers are circulating in local social media. The Embassy of the Russian Federation hereby requests all users to verify information on Russian fertilizers in Kenya on official media resources of the Embassy,” said the Embassy on its twitter handle.

Uralchem, a Russian firm which is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of fertilizer, last issued a press statement on its website on September 21.

A press release related to the donation in question was made on July 28 in which the CEO announced that Urachem would make a humanitarian Shipment of fertilizers to Africa.

The decision to launch the humanitarian project was made in the wake of the agreement between the Russian Federation and the UN Secretariat on Istanbul, Türkiye, on July 22, 2022.

During his inauguration, President William Ruto said that his government will lower fertilizer prices to Sh3,500 down from Sh6,000 per 50kg bag.