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Kenyan government to deliver subsidised fertiliser directly to farmers

SMART HARVEST
By Fred Kibor | March 6th 2017

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett has challenged county governments to help form co-operative societies.

The CS said the co-operative societies would be used to store subsidised farm inputs imported by the national government and cut transport costs incurred by farmers.

Speaking at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) Eldoret depot, Mr Bett said the move was intended to seal loopholes used by cartels in the past to steal the inputs at the expense of genuine farmers.

"Once counties from maize and wheat growing regions form co-operative societies, the Government will transport the imported consignment of subsidised fertiliser from Mombasa port directly to the co-operative societies' stores," he said.

Bett was accompanied by Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno and NCPB Managing Director Newton Terer.

The CS asked farmers to help the national and county governments root out cartels colluding with disgruntled NCPB officials to divert subsidised fertiliser meant for farmers.

"The only way to cut off the cartels from accessing the fertiliser imported into the country by the national government is for you farmers to register with your respective co-operative societies and access it at an affordable price," advised Bett.

Mr Chemno said the county had already rolled out a programme where farmers will access subsidised maize seeds and fertiliser through their respective co-operative societies.

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He said the county government had entered into a partnership with a maize-producing company from where it would purchase the seeds and resell them to farmers at subsidised prices.

North Rift Farmers Association chairman Kipkorir Menjo praised the moved, saying it would solve farmers' woes.

Mr Menjo said the cartels had been taking advantage of the loopholes to fleece farmers.

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