CS Linturi Given Ultimatum as Another Company Exposed Over Fake Fertiliser

President William Ruto (left) chats with CSs Mithika Linturi (center) and Aden Duale.
President William Ruto (left) chats with CSs Mithika Linturi (center) and Aden Duale.
UDA Party

The Law Society of Kenya on Monday penned a letter to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi demanding action over the pilferage of fake fertiliser on the market.

In the letter signed by LSK President Faith Adhiambo, the society accused the CS of taking shortcuts in dealing with the menace that they argued had cost many farmers their livelihoods.

LSK accused the CS of constantly fighting with journalists reporting on the matter and revoking licenses without carrying out proper investigations.

"Worse still, there are confirmed instances of fake fertiliser being sold to unsuspecting farmers, greatly jeopardizing farmers' outputs and incomes. The National Fertilizer Subsidy Program (NFSP), which was rolled out as a source of relief for farmers, has now been reduced to a conduit for fraud to obtain money from unsuspecting farmers who suffer the brunt of unyielding investment in fake fertiliser," read the statement in part.

Bags of fertiliser stored at a National Cereals and Produce Board warehouse.
Bags of fertiliser stored at a National Cereals and Produce Board warehouse.
Kenya News Agency

"The overall consequence of these failures is that farmers have failed to break even, lost significant sums of money in buying fake fertiliser, and the agriculture sector has been spun into a crisis at a time when Kenyans contend with strained economic realities that cannot survive food insecurity."

"When not attacking journalists, the CS has resorted to shock and awe tactics, storming into manufacturing plants and purporting to revoke licenses, all without conducting proper investigations or providing any clear policy decisions from the Ministry on the matter," Faith added.

The society, as a result, wrote a letter to the CS with recommendations of how to handle the menace, failure to which, they threatened legal action.

"We will equally pursue legal action against the Ministry, Mr Linturi in his personal capacity," the LSK President emphatically promised.

"We will pursue a class action on behalf of the farmers to seek compensation against the Cabinet Secretary in charge of the Ministry, NCPB, KEBS and the responsible officials."

The decision comes as reports of more companies shortchanging farmers with fake fertiliser come to light.

In the latest exposé, a company (name withheld) was accused of buying genuine fertiliser before contaminating it with sand, rocks and animal manure before reselling it at a cheaper price as part of the subsidy programme initiated by Ruto.

The company was accused of benefitting northwards of Ksh1.9 billion in profits in the transaction.

In an earlier crackdown, the Ministry of Agriculture had directed Kenyans to stop purchasing three fertiliser brands supplied by KEL Chemicals following failed tests conducted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

"All fertilizers being distributed meet the required quality requirements except those manufactured and distributed by KEL Chemicals branded Kelphos Plus, Kelphos gold, and NPK 10:26:10, which did not meet all required test parameters," a statement from Kilimo House issued on April 5 read.

The government subsequently revoked the company's license.

A person using ammonia fertiliser on their farm
A person using ammonia fertiliser on their farm.
E360 Digest
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