Kericho Farmers Affected By Fake Fertilizer To Be Compensated With Top Dresser

The National Assembly Committee on Agriculture has pledged to compensate over 500 farmers in Kericho County, who initially bought the fake fertilizer with top dressing fertilizer to help improve their crop yields.

The members made the promise to farmers congregated the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depot outskirts of Kericho town following an inquiry and public hearing from affected farmers during their ongoing probe regarding the distribution of standard fertilizers by unscrupulous suppliers through NCPB.

Addressing the media at NCPB depot grounds, the committee’s Vice Chairman Brighton Yegon said out of the 1,800 bags of fertilizer held at the Kericho depot, 537 farmers who bought the substandard fertilizer will be compensated with top dressing fertilizer that will help address nutrient deficiencies in their farms.

‘As you all know there are two types of fertilizers that have been withdrawn from NCPB stores, there is the KEL Green fertilizer, the GPC Original plus Organic fertilizer which is
manufactured by Silica Booster Limited and in this particular store of Kericho there are 1,800 bags of KEL Green Fertilizer that was distributed to farmers.

However, they have started the process of compensating the 537 farmers who bought this fake fertilizer. Farmers have already planted so they ought to be compensated with top dressing to help improve their yields,’ said. Yegon.

The Konoin area MP noted only a few of the affected farmers had come forward to receive their compensation while calling for efficient communication systems to be put in place so that in the event of future incidents a farmer can easily be traced.

In an interview with KNA, a small scale farmer, Hillary Koech said he unknowingly bought 50 kilograms of the fake fertilizer for his maize crop.

‘The fake fertilizer had a combination of small concrete stones and with animal manure. The manure had a foul smell. I hope we get compensated with genuine top dressing fertilizer so that we get good maize yields,’ said Koech.

In the same bre
ath, farmers appealed to the committee to develop policies that are favorable to the modern farmer so as to encourage the uptake of farming as a serious commercial venture for young people.

Another farmer Julius Kibet told the committee that there was need for development of policies geared towards small scale modern farmers who are trying to eke a living from the trade.

‘Hon. Members we urge your committee to consider creating policies that can address the plight of modern day farmers. Some of us do not own large tracts of land, but we have the knowledge and so we have leased parcels of land to implement the farming knowledge we possess,’ said Kibet.

He added that the modern farmer had abandoned operating within the traditional farming seasons, and urged the government to consider distributing the subsidized fertilizer all year round.

Other farmers who attended the session called on the Committee to facilitate the availability of certified seeds through the NCPB depots so as to complement the government’
s efforts towards food security.

The farmers also urged the distribution of subsidized fertilizer is further devolved to the locations to cushion farmers from transport costs.

In attendance were other committee members including Soin/Sigowet MP Justice Kemei and Kericho County women representative Beatrice Kemei, who called on the county government to collaborate with NCPB in providing the last mile facilitation so as to help the farmers to access the subsidized fertilizer with ease.

Source: Kenya News Agency