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Compensate farmers for allowing fake fertilizer and seed on market, Omanyo

Compensate farmers for allowing fake fertilizer and seed on market, Omanyo


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

KNA by Absalom Namwalo

Busia MP Catherine Omanyo now wants the government to bear the cost of pilfered fake fertilizers and seed on the market which has jeopardized the efforts by farmers to cut down the cost of living through farming.

Speaking to the press in Busia, the legislator has called for speedy investigation and immediate arrest of the cartel who have taken advantage of subsidized fertilizer programmes to con farmers, pushing them further into poverty amidst these hard economic times.

“The government must act swiftly on the individuals who seem to have infiltrated the subsidised fertiliser programme for personal gains sparking fears among farmers due to impending losses,” Omanyo noted.

Her sentiments come barely 12 hours after police in Eldoret seized 560 bags of DAP fertiliser that was being offloaded at a trading center meant to be the temporary deport which were supposed to help farmers cut down on transport cost.

“I want to appeal to the Kenya Kwanza administration if indeed they the value lives of over six million farmers to compensate them especially those who purchased fake fertilizers and seeds.

This is the only way the farmers will recollect themselves and be able to re-cultivate as long rains commences,” she added.

Last week, DCI impounded 700 50kg bags of fake fertilizer in Kakamega, a situation which sparked heated exchange and blame game among different leaders in the Ministry of Agriculture.

Omanyo now wants the government to remove monopoly in the supply of fertilizer and allow authorized and certified dealers like One Acre Fund, Apollo Agriculture, Kenya Seed Company and licensed agro- vets to sell the fertilizer to farmers.

“What is the government’s interest in this fertilizer? Why don’t they allow authorized dealers and companies to supply the same to farmers? If the President doesn’t wake-up, this will be the biggest scandal in the country,” the legislator added.

The MP is now conducting farm visits within the county to ascertain the situation in Busia County where there are three collection points for the fertilizer; Malaba deport, Nambale and Angurai sub-deports.

Over 2,650 bags which had already been supplied to farmers have been recalled.

President William Ruto’s aide Farouk Kibet on Sunday called for speedy arrest of the individuals who wanted to use the fertilizer subsidy programme to enrich themselves at the expense of farmers.

“At the moment, we import food worth Sh500 billion every year. That is why the President said that the government had deliberately decided that it would help farmers to produce sufficient food in the country to cut down on imports,” said Farouk.

Omanyo now wants officials within the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to be subjected to special audit to get to the root cause of the matter.

“President Ruto must reorganize the Agriculture Ministry to stamp out cartels at the NCPB, Kilimo House and KEBS in order to restore sanity,” she added.

Courtesy; KNA

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