• April 14, 2024
  • Last Update April 14, 2024 9:48 PM
  • Nairobi

NCPB distributes 2.1 million bags of fertilizer to farmers

NCPB distributes 2.1 million bags of fertilizer to farmers

Nairobi,

Thursday, April 4, 2024

KNA by Joseph Ng’ang’a

The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has so far received 2.3 million bags of fertilizer and farmers have redeemed 2.1 million bags.

Government Spokesperson Dr. Isaac Mwaura said that the farmers have collected the fertilizer from the NCPB stores and the 158 selling centres operationalized under the devolved governments’ Last Mile program through the e-voucher system.

Addressing the Media in Nairobi on Thursday, Mwaura explained that the government fertilizer subsidy program aims to cushion smallholder farmers from fertilizer price fluctuations, ensuring that they produce competitively and contribute to the alleviation of the high cost of living.

According to Mwaura, fertilizer has been disbursed to 45 Counties and farmers have received vouchers in Baringo, Bomet, Bungoma, Busia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Embu, Garissa, Homabay, Kajiado, Kakamega, Kericho, Kiambu, Kilifi, Kirinyaga, Kisii, Kisumu, Kitui, Kwale, Laikipia, Lamu, Machakos, Makueni, Meru, Migori, Mombasa, Muranga, Nairobi, Nakuru, Nandi, Narok, Nyamira, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Siaya, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Tharaka Nithi, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Vihiga and West Pokot.

He added that the farmers database in the Kenya Integrated Agriculture Management Information System (KIAMIS) stands at 5,533,898.

“In the past few weeks, complaints of fake fertilizer being in circulation in some parts of the country have dominated our conversations around the economy. May I explain that investigations are ongoing with the aim of nailing down those behind the scam,” said Mwaura.

He explained that the initial tests by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) on the samples from the fake supplies have proved that the supplies were not among those supplied under the subsidy program through the NCPB.

“No one has come out to justify that the supplies by NCPB were counterfeited,” said Mwaura.

The government spokesperson said that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has taken up the matter and those found culpable of supplying not only the fertilizer but also any other form of fake farm inputs shall be apprehended and prosecuted.

“I also wish to clarify that the other type of fertilizer that has been flagged out as fake is a GPC product sold commercially under agency arrangement outside the NCPB system as a soil conditioner and not fertilizer,” explained Mwaura.

He continued, “The product is only being distributed through the Board’s depots by the 51 Capital (K) Limited and is not part of the GoK Subsidized Fertilizers availed to registered farmers.”

Mwaura said that the NCPB being a state Corporation that generates its own revenue for own operations and self-sustainability, as part of its commercial mandate, engages in business partnerships with interested parties that provide farm inputs and other supplies on agency basis.

“In this regard, the Board entered into a commercial agency agreement with 51 Capital (K) in April 2022 to distribute a product called GPC.

In the agreement, 51 Capital as the Principal was to sell a variety of products among them GPC Soil Conditioner (the subject matter of ‘the fakes expose’) and the NCPB was to provide an outlet through its designated depots for the sale of the products on an agency basis,” explained Mwaura.

He clarified that besides the NCPB, GPC products are usually distributed through Agrovets and other outlets which might have served as conduits for counterfeits and that all fertilizers distributed under the Government Subsidized Program are sold in bags clearly labeled as “Government Subsidized Fertilizer” and marked “Not for Resale.”

“Farmers are assured of the Government’s commitment to quality service delivery to all farmers in a transparent, ethical and professional manner through its respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), in an effort to guarantee food security in the country,” said Mwaura.

Courtesy; KNA

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