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CS Linturi: There's no fake fertiliser, just substandard

 Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi while appearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee to deliberate on the alleged distribution of fake fertilizer in various parts of the country, at the Senate Chambers, Nairobi. April 11th,2024. (Elvis Ogina, Standard)

There is no fake fertiliser in the Kenyan market, only substandard, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi now claims.

While appearing before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries on Thursday, April 11, the CS explained that the fertiliser in question was substandard as macronutrients fell short of agreed requirements.

“The percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium went short of the agreed standard but that does not mean that the fertiliser was completely useless or is fake. If we were to discuss the percentage, then, I would be in a position to respond and how we intend to remedy the situation,” Linturi told Senators.

It is important to note that farmers across the country insist what they were supplied with was not ‘legitimate’ fertiliser.

Further, the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary insisted that there were only 3,000 bags of substandard fertiliser and the ministry would compensate the farmers.

“The issue we had is of one unfaithful manufacturer who, either by error of omission or by negligence, passed 3,000 bags that did not conform to the standard,” he said.

The fake fertiliser saga was first brought to light by Africa Uncensored, in an expose.

Appearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee last week as the first witness, investigative journalist John Allan Namu revealed that “some influential politicians reached out to him in an attempt to convince him not to air his expose on the fake fertiliser scandal.”

“I would like to inform this committee that politicians across the political divide might have been involved in this fake fertiliser conspiracy…some even reached out to me seeking to have African Uncensored not to air this story where the majority of those affected are small-scale farmers,” said Namu.

He added that his organisation had conducted a detailed investigation on public procurement since 2018 and that the fake fertiliser scandal cut across both the Jubilee and Kenya Kwanza administrations.

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