Sale of NCPB fer­tiliser put on hold as staff fraud probe be­gins

Traders pos­ing as farm­ers were buy­ing in bulk hop­ing to later sell at ex­or­bi­tant prices

Business Daily (Kenya) - - COUNTY BUSINESS - Den­nis Lubanga The cheap fer­tiliser is meant for small scale grow­ers in the North Rift re­gion

The gov­ern­ment has sus­pended sale of sub­sidised fer­tiliser stored in var­i­ous de­pots owned by Na­tional Ce­re­als and Pro­duce Board (NCPB) in North Rift re­gion.

Cabi­net Sec­re­tary for Agri­cul­ture Willy Bett said they took the move to pave way for in­ves­ti­ga­tions against some em­ploy­ees of the board linked to il­le­gal sale of the in­put to un­scrupu­lous traders in the re­gion.

Speak­ing yes­ter­day at the Eldoret’s NCPB de­pot, Mr Bett said:“i have sus­pended the sale for two weeks with im­me­di­ate ef­fect to as­sess whether the ones we have so far sold reached the in­tended maize farm­ers or not.”

The cheap fer­tiliser is meant for small scale grow­ers.

Mr Bett said some traders pos­ing as maize farm­ers were buy­ing in bulk hop­ing to sell the same to farm­ers at ex­or­bi­tant prices dur­ing next year’s plant­ing sea­son.

“We will bring to book all NCPB em­ploy­ees who are work­ing in co­hort with un­scrupu­lous traders to buy the gov­ern­ment sub­sidised farm in­put,” he said.

The Cabi­net Sec­re­tary at the same time ex­pressed con­cern over the low num­ber of farm­ers de­liv­er­ing their har­vested maize to NCPB de­pots spread across the re­gion.

He said that de­spite the gov­ern­ment of­fer­ing the pre­vail­ing mar­ket price of Sh3,200 per 90kg bag of maize, not many farm­ers from the re­gion had em­braced the ini­tia­tive by of­fer­ing their pro­duce to the board.

“It is re­gret­table to note that ma­jor­ity of the farm­ers were still tak­ing their maize to the mid­dle-men who are of­fer­ing a pal­try Sh 2,600 per 90kg bag and that is ex­ploita­tion of the high­est or­der,” he said.

He urged farm­ers to em­brace the ini­tia­tive say­ing the gov­ern­ment was ready and will­ing to pay them promptly.

Mr Bett also said the gov­ern­ment will clear Sh600 mil­lion owed to maize farm­ers from Uasin Gishu County for their maize de­liv­ered to the de­pot two months ago.

--SALATON NJAU

CRACK­DOWN Agri­cul­ture sec­re­tary Willy Bett said thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tions would be con­ducted and any cul­pa­ble NCBP em­ployee brought to book.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.