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Farmers told to be on lookout for fake fertilizer sold by crooks

Farmers across the country have been urged to ensure they source their fertilizer from government appointed agents to avoid duped into buying fake products which compromise yield.

The Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) Mt. Kenya Regional Manager Erick Mutai said middlemen have found loopholes to exploit farmers by purchasing standard fertilizer from government appointed agents then mixing them with fake fertilizer before reselling to farmers at market rates.

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He said the government is committed to provide subsidized fertilizer to farmers, so as to increase crop production and ensure the country is food secure.

Speaking at the National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB) depot in Isiolo Town, Mutai said that the government has introduced financial institutions such as AFC to farmers, so that they can make available loan facilities, at 10pc interest.

He said that the government focuses on guaranteeing food security by providing discounted fertilizers, and sensitizing farmers on the importance of applying modern agricultural technologies, to boost their production.

Mutai who was representing AFC Chief Executive Officer, during the launch of subsidized fertilizer, at the Isiolo NCPB silo, said that Mt. Kenya region has 13 branches that can provide loans to school leavers, at no interest and give a four years’ period to repay the amount they take.

Isiolo NCPB Manager Rosekellen Njiru, said that the first consignment of 1,800 bags of planting and 293 bags of top dressing fertilizers from the government, are ready for farmers to buy and challenged them not to be cheated by middlemen.

Njiru said that NCPB also provides storage of cereals, at affordable rates and has in place machines that dry farm produce including beans, maize and millet, using modern technologies.

She said that all 35,880 farmers who are registered with the government in the area, would benefit from the subsidized fertilizers.

The County Director for Agriculture, Florence Mwangangi and Assistant County Commissioner, Peter Njuguna, appealed to farmers to take advantage of the opportunity to uplift their agricultural activities.

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