Police officers arrested four suspects repackaging the government’s subsidised fertilisers at a Godown in Lunga Lunga, Nairobi, on Thursday, June 8.
Confirming the incident, Nairobi police boss Adamsom Bungei revealed that they recovered 50,000 bags of subsidised fertilizer alongside 1,360 bags of rice and 200 bags of maize repackaged into other brands.
A bag of subsidised fertiliser is ksh3,500 across the country. Therefore, the suspects were in possession of ksh175 million worth of fertilisers.
“Our team on the ground was able to check in, and they found local subsidised fertiliser. We realised that they were repackaging the products,” he stated.
Additionally, Bungei revealed that during the raid, the officers learnt that the suspects were also repackaging relief food in Indian brands.
“We received information that there was some illegal business going on in Lunga Lunga, within the areas of Nanyuki Road, and we deployed our officers to the site.
“This will be investigated as we seek to determine why they were repackaging the fertiliser meant as a subsidy for the local market,” added Bungei.
A May 2023 survey by the Central Bank of Kenya revealed that President William Ruto's plan to increase food production by subsidising fertilisers was successful, as many farmers had already received the product.
The Agriculture Survey explained that by digitising farmer's records, over three-quarters of farmers in the country had received the subsidised fertiliser by the end of May 2023.
The fertiliser was made available at half the price for a 50kg bag under a plan by the government to subsidise 500,000 metric tonnes of fertilisers for the long rain between March and May 2023. Ruto reduced the prices from Ksh6,500 to Ksh3,500.
According to Principal Secretary for Crop Development Kello Harsama, the program was meant to address maize production, which greatly impacts the cost of food.
He noted that the government continued to sensitize farmers across the country because many farmers were not aware when the fertilisers arrived in their stores.
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