Ruto tells fraudsters behind fake fertiliser to compensate farmers

Farmers given fake fertilisers must be compensated: President Ruto

President Ruto has said farmers who were supplied fake fertiliser must be fully compensated by those responsible.

Speaking in West Pokot County on Monday, President Ruto said the country has enough fertiliser and all farmers will get the right input.

“Every farmer will get the correct fertiliser and the cartels who want to frustrate our production efforts must bear the consequences. There is one company called KEL, if there any fertiliser was supplied with fake fertiliser, they must be compensated fully. The cartels must be held accountable,” he stated, referring to the company that has been caught up in the fake fertiliser scam.

“We had logistical challenges because of the war in Ukraine and had to reroute delivery and that has been sorted,” the President said while commissioning the new Cemtech Ltd Clinker Plant, in Sebit, West Pokot, an investment of Devki Group of Companies.

Already the government has suspended the operations of Ms KEL Chemicals and ordered immediate confiscation of its fertiliser products sold in the Kenyan market, following the completion of the testing of all fertilizer being distributed to farmers across the country under the subsidy programme.

According to tests carried out by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), Kelphos Plus, Kelphos gold and NPK 10:26:10 manufactured by KEL Chemicals did not meet the stipulated requirements.

Earlier Monday morning, the President made an impromptu visit at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depot in Eldoret where he said the government will deal with the cartels selling fake fertiliser.

“We will deal with fraudsters trying to undermine our food production by selling fake fertiliser. I have toured the Eldoret NCPB depot to witness the distribution of fertiliser to farmers and I am satisfied with the ongoing exercise,” he stated.

However, he noted that the process must be accelerated on account of increased rains across the country, directing the management of NCPB to speed up the distribution of subsidised fertiliser to farmers. He assured farmers across the country that there was sufficient stock to meet their demand.

Further, he noted that his government’s efforts to reduce the cost of fertiliser have boosted the country’s agricultural production.

“Let us focus and remove the shame of hunger in our country by ensuring we enhance our productivity,” he stated.

The President explained that he is committed to ensuring enough food production to support more livelihoods.

“We are reducing the cost of farm inputs so that we can tackle hunger,” he said, warning that those behind the sale of the fake fertilisers will face the law.

The President noted that he will keep pushing for the reduction of fertiliser prices to make farming more profitable.

“We do not want to confine this to maize cultivation. We are broadening our range of crops so that our earnings can go up,” he stated.

The President noted that it is possible to turn farming into a lucrative venture. “It is possible for agriculture to drive our industrialisation and spur our exports,” he stated.