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Senators calls for prosecution of firms linked to fake fertiliser

Rift Valley
 Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi when he appeared before the National Assembly Agriculture Committee over the fake Fertilizer at Parliament on April 8, 2024 [ Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Senators have called for suspension of licences of companies linked to supply of  fake fertiliser to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries wondered why legal action has not been taken against the culprits.

Speaking during a fact-finding mission in Nandi County on Tuesday, the committee chairperson James Murango (Kirinyaga) said the distribution of fake fertiliser is a threat to food security.

The senators demanded the arrest and prosecution of individuals behind the saga and urged the government to protect farmers against unscrupulous dealers.

"Farm inputs should be certified and be of good quality before being released into the local market. But the concerns have been raised on how the manufacturers supplied the fertiliser to farmers without approval from the Kenyan Bureau of Standards (KBS)," said Murango.

He said the substandard fertiliser was not fit for use and would compromise the government's objective of attaining food security in the country.

"Kenya Kwanza government's plan to protect citizens from the high cost of living through increased food production would not be achieved if the culprits are left to run amok in the agriculture sector. Thousands of farmers ended up buying sacks of substandard fertiliser thus losing millions of shillings in the hands of peddlers of fake farm input in form of sand soil," he said.

The committee chairperson was accompanied by vice chairperson Alexander Mundigi (Embu), Senators Wafula Wakoli (Bungoma) and Samson Cherargei (Nandi).

Others were Mosop MP Abraham Kirwa, Women Rep Cynthia Muge and a host of Nandi county assembly ward representatives.

The leaders demanded that NCPB management compensates farmers supplied with fake fertiliser.

Senator Mundigi said NCPB should be held responsible for the distribution of the farm inputs and the management ought to give the affected farmers certified fertiliser.

"NCPB failed in their role until farmers raised THE alarm over substandard fertiliser. We cannot allow innocent farmers to suffer losses that would have been averted by the entity tasked to distribute subsidized fertilisers," he argued.

Farmers called for last-mile distribution centres at the ward level to ease access.

"We will urge the county governments to establish more satellite outlets within the community. It is costly for farmers to spend days queuing at collection centers," Mundigi said.

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