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Fake Fertilizer: Senate Committee wants farmers compensated

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and the Blue Economy wants the government to compensate farmers who bought fake fertilizers immediately to enable them to replant.

They said the farmers risk going without a crop this season since no one knows when the current rains will stop.

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They also said the government should take severe action on those who supplied the fake input and that their enablers in government should take responsibility and leave.

The committee members who included Embu Senator Alexander Mundigi, Bungoma Senator Francis Wafula Wakoli, Nyeri Senator Wahome Wamatangi together with their Chairman, Kirinyaga Senator, Kamau Murango, said supplying fake farm inputs was equal to economic sabotage or terrorism and that perpetrators should be treated as such.

The four spoke at the Embu Talent Academy where they met a section of affected farmers from Embu and Kirinyaga counties as they make enquiries into the fake fertilizer saga.

A foul smell of strange chemicals combined with animal manure and urine pervaded the air when the farmers opened parcels of the fake fertilizer they had brought as evidence.

Some 2320 bags of the suspect fake fertilizer had been sold at the Embu National Cereals and Produce Board Store, all of the labeled KEL Green NPK 10.26.20.

All the farmers displayed scattered fertilizer grains mixed with animal waste and sand.

Phineas Nyaga, an official of the North Ngariama Coffee Growers Cooperative said his society was to buy some 4200 bags for their members last year but were supplied with only 3020 bags.

He said when he went to collect the remaining 1,180 bags in January they collected a sample of four bags which they submitted to the National Agricultural Research labs for analysis.

When the results came it was found to have 7 per cent nitrogen, 3.6 percent phosphorous and 7.26 potassium instead of the 10 per cent Nitrogen, 29 percent phosphorous and 10 percent potassium declared on the bag.

Most of the farmers who used the fake fertilizer to plant reported that they are unimpressed by the way their crops have germinated and are growing.

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