Subsidised fertiliser: Farmers allege unfair distribution

Friday May 17 2019

Uasin Gishu farmers

Mary Wanjiku and other maize farmers from Moi’s Bridge in Uasin Gishu County demonstrate on May 15, 2019, against alleged discrimination in distribution of the government's subsidised fertiliser. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

EDITH CHEPNG'ENO
By EDITH CHEPNG'ENO
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Maize farmers in Uasin Gishu County are up in arms over alleged discrimination in distribution of subsidised fertilizer through depots of the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

The farmers claimed on Friday that while they were being issued with two bags of cheap government fertiliser, their counterparts in Trans Nzoia and counties in the Western region were receiving 40.

Peres Wanjiku, who has 10 acres of land, said she was allocated two bags, the same as a neighbour with 100 acres.

“The allocation is like a drop in the sea considering I will be forced to spend more money buying farm inputs,” said Ms Wanjiku.

A bag of fertilizer retails at Sh3,500.

DCI PROBE

The farmers called on the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe the allocation process at the Moi’s Bridge depot.

“The DCI should urgently probe irregularities in the distribution of farm inputs and arrest those implicated in the scam," said Jotham Kitur, another farmer.

But NCPB depot manager Martin Adede blamed the area chief and ward agricultural officers involved in the vetting exercise.

"The mistake lies with them. They have failed to liaise with us so we can give them the correct amounts of fertiliser available for farmers in this region," said Mr Adede.

The manager said 1,344 bags of CAN fertiliser from 2018 were remaining and that the region was allocated 7,000 bags this season.

"But residents are claiming the chief informed them that only 1000 bags of fertilise were available," he said.

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