The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) cannot account for Sh2.3 billion realised from the sale of different types of fertilisers, the latest audit report tabled in Parliament has revealed.
The report by the outgoing Auditor General Edward Ouko for the financial year ended June 30, 2018 indicates that the produce board could not account for Sh2.3 billion realised from the sale of 2,303,235 million bags of fertiliser.
According to the report, NCPB failed to bank all revenue realised from the sale of local blends of fertiliser that were procured by the State department of Agriculture to Kenya Commercial Bank for onward transmission to the statement department’s account at the Central Bank of Kenya.
During the year under review, NCPB sold fertilisers to farmers at subsidised prices of Sh1,500 for a 50kg bag of all planting fertilisers like DAP and NPK blends and all top dressing fertilisers such as CAN, UREA and Sh1,300 for a 50kg bag of Sulphate Ammonia.
Mr Ouko faulted the Ministry of Agriculture and NCPB for failing to sign any form of agreement on how to handle the proceeds realised from the sale of the imported fertiliser as well as the blended fertilisers.
“No evidence was provided to show that the State department carried out any reconciliations for sales made and quantity delivered by or outstanding from each of the suppliers as at June 30,2018,” reads the audit report.
Records provided to auditors indicate that 1,200,000 bags of DAP, 1,014,000 bags of CAN, 100,000 bags of NPK, 50,000 bags of blend four and 24,000 of blend nine fertilisers were distributed to various counties for both the short rains in October 2017 and long rains in February 2018.
The auditor however revealed in his report that an additional suspicious 200,000 bags of DAP fertiliser were introduced into the system, and in addition it is also not clear how 100,000 bags of NPK, 50,000 bags of blend four and 24,000 bags of blend nine were distributed.
The report also revealed that 1,014,000 bags of CAN type of fertiliser delivered by a company known as M/s Export Trading Company Limited was found to be of poor quality and its distribution was therefore suspended.
However, it is not clear how the fertiliser was cleared and eventually distributed to farmers.
Despite warning from the Ministry of Agriculture that it was not suitable for maize to be stored for more than six months in the silos to avoid deterioration and loss of value, auditors found that by the end of last year, NCPB has been holding for six months now two million bags in its silos across the country.
The produce board is also on the spot over unaccounted millions bags of maize.
According to the report, Strategic Grain Reserve Fund shows that it had a stock of 3,913,098 bags of maize at the end of last year while records at the NCPB stores shows that it had 6,521,481 during the same period leaving unaccounted 2.6 million bags of maize.