Government subsidized fertilizer arrives ahead of planting season
Mombasa - January 23, 2017
The government has put in place a raft of measures aimed at guarding against misappropriation of its subsidized fertilizers.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mr Willy Bett announced the instituted mechanisms on Monday at the Port of Mombasa when he received a consignment of 27,500 metric tons Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertilizer.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mr Willy Bett paid a courtesy call on the KPA Managing Director Mrs Catherine Mturi-Wairi before proceeding to Berth No. 7 to receive the government subsidized fertilizer.
The CS termed the current measures as more efficient in handling the commodity to ensure it serves the intended purpose.
"We have put in place mechanisms right from the port to the point where the farmer is accessing the fertilizer. This year we are going to be very ruthless to the people trying to play monkey business about it," he said.
Mr Bett said unlike last year whereby the government picked the fertilizer directly from the ship, this year one of the mechanisms instituted by the government to curb pilferage was to receive already packed fertilizer from the warehouse.
"The government will start coming in when we are picking the fertilizer from the warehouse of the supplier to the warehouse of the National Cereals and Produce Board," he said.
The CS (second left) flanked by (from right) Mombasa County Commissioner Mr Evans Achoki, KPA General Managers Mr Sudi Mwasinago (Operations), Eng. Joseph Atonga (Engineering Services), Managing Director Multiship International Capt. Singh Sabharwal and National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) MD Mr Newton Terer witnessed the offloading of the Diamonnium Phosphate (DAP) from the vessel MV Lowlands Sky.
The CS said the other constraint measure to get rid of diversion of the fertilizer was a mandatory requirement "for any transporter to have a tracking mechanism whereby a lorry leaving Mombasa is tracked and if it stops anywhere it is known."
To ensure that everything that leaves Mombasa reaches the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) intact, he added that the bags containing the fertilizer had unique security features.
The Cabinet Secretary further announced that a taskforce had come up with guidelines to be used in distribution of the fertilizer to the targeted farmers in Mwea and North Rift regions.
He regretted a few incidents of fraud experienced last year saying in some cases the fertilizer was diverted as a result of collusion thus unintended persons ended up benefiting.
"You must have heard that we sacked 26 staff of the NCPB as a way of not tolerating an incident where wrong people benefit from the government's investment."
The CS said this year the government had increased its fertilizer subsidy to a total budget of Kshs 5.03 billion to cater for a bigger number of farmers to improve the country's productivity.
Bett who witnessed the discharging of the DAP fertilizer from cargo carrier MV Lowlands Sky at Berth No. 7 assured farmers of its quality saying competent authorities in the country had confirmed that the fertilizer meets the required global standards.
He announced that farmers would purchase the DAP fertilizer at a government subsidized price of Kshs 1800 per bag instead of the retail market price of Kshs 3500 while the top dressing fertilizer which is expected to arrive at the port in February will cost Kshs 1500 per bag.