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PS calls for action on those peddling counterfeit goods in the country

PS calls for action on those peddling counterfeit goods in the country

Naivasha,

Tuesday March 25 2024,

KNA by Mabel Keya-Shikuku

Principal Secretary (PS) of State department for Industrialization in the Ministry of Investments, Trade and industry; Dr. Eusebius Juma Mukhwana has called for stern action on all those found selling fake goods such as fertiliser in the country as this affects not only the consumer but the economy as well.

Dr. Mukhwana said counterfeiting was rampant in spare parts and the alcohol industry and cited the recent case where more than 20 people died in Kirinyaga County after consuming illicit alcohol.

To this end, he called on agencies like the Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to be vigilant as the counterfeits have potential to hurt an industrial and the economic growth of the country.

The PS advised producers and manufacturers in the country to patent their brand so that they are legally protected from being counterfeited.

He was speaking in Naivasha on Monday he met with the National Assembly Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives led by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Embakasi North; James Mwangi Gakuya.

The state department engaged the committee on the issues of budgetary allocation, their targets and issues of policies and legislations required to streamline investment in the country.

Gakuya concurred with the issues raised by the PS and noted that low funding had hampered the functioning of the department and key parastatals such as KEBS and ACA.

He voiced concern over the issue of fake fertilizer which grabbed headlines in the country last week terming it unfortunate and urged KEBS to ensure this does not happen again.

KEBS on Wednesday last week confirmed that fake subsidized fertiliser is on the market and sold by the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) in their warehouses in this planting season.

KEBS Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Esther Njeri Ngari who was present at the Naivasha meeting on Monday told the committee that innocent farmers had been duped into buying the fakes, now confirmed to be Diatomite.

Those concerned had used fake KEBS labels on the packaging to dupe the buyers.Ms. Ngari said it launched a probe following a tip-off from the public, seizing 5,840 bags in a surveillance raid.

Following the intelligence, NCPB sampled the product in over 59 of its warehouses across the country which led to the suspension of the product licenses amid fears that the product may still be in circulation.

So far the agency has impounded 5,840 bags of the alleged fake fertilizer bearing their standardization marks.

The KEBS CEO however assured Kenyans that the fertiliser currently in circulation under the government backed subsidy program meets the quality tests.

Ms. Ngari however said the KEBs has flagged Silica Booster Limited for supplying organic plus fertiliser that hit headlines last week for not meeting quality tests and standards.

Ngari said the firm fertiliser has been recalled from National Cereals and Produce Board stores and the firm licenses and permits suspended.

The CEO called on parliamentarians to support the agency by supporting the Kenya Quality Bill (2024) that seeks to align and revamp the agency standards and regulatory framework.

Courtesy; KNA

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