Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has put on notice middlemen doing business with the government subsidised fertilisers. CS Linthuri said he was informed by farmers during an impromptu visit to Kenya Cereal and Produce Board offices in Narok and Bomet that some business people have hatched plans to sell government fertilizer at a profit which was illegal. ‘I have this morning toured the Narok and Bomet NCPB depots to oversee the distribution process of subsidised fertiliser to farmers. During the visit I have learnt that our farmers have been exploited by cartels who acquire government fertilisers at subsidy price and sell it to them exorbitantly,’ he noted. He revealed that the ministry would be working with investigative agencies to arrest and prosecute those who are benefiting at the cost of farmers. However, The CS noted that he was pleased that the fertiliser subsidy programme is going on well as planned by the government and that farmers will make a good harvest. ‘I am happy that the Fertiliser Subsidy programme is doing well and will help farmers achieve high yields this season,’ the CS said. ‘The programme is aimed at helping farmers access the commodity at a reduced cost of Sh3, 500 per 50kg bag, down from Sh6, 000,’ he added. Linturi urged farmers to register themselves in the ongoing exercise to benefit from government subsidies. He added that the government was also working on giving farmers guaranteed minimum returns so that farmers can be sure of approximated market prices at the farm. The government subsidy fertiliser is procured through the Kenya National Trading Company (KNTC) and distributed across the country through NCPB depots. ‘My ministry is in the process of fully implementing the Kenya Integrated Agricultural Management information system (KIAMIS),’ said Linturi adding the system will assist farmers to access improved agricultural productivity for the country to achieve food security.
Source: Kenya News Agency