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Northern Rift Farmers Demand Recall of Suspected Counterfeit Fertilizers

Farmers in the northern Rift Valley are urgently calling for the recall and testing of fertilizers purchased from the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), suspecting them to be counterfeit.

Despite the onset of the short rains, farmers in Nandi County have refrained from planting, fearing crop failure if they apply the suspected fertilizer.

On Monday morning, farms in the Cheptil area of Nandi County remained eerily quiet, with farmers hesitant to proceed with planting. Concerns about potential crop loss loom large, as farmers allege that the fertilizer obtained from the NCPB depot in Selia, Nandi County, is contaminated.

John Kiprotich, a farmer from Kapkechui, shared his troubling discovery: “I saw it on TV on Saturday, and I noticed that it was the same bag as the one brought to Selia. I decided to open it and found something unusual. It seemed like there were stones and bits of manure mixed with a little topsoil. Now, I don’t know what to do.”

Casmody Choberi, another farmer from Cheptil, corroborated Kiprotich’s account, stating, “The fertilizer contains gravel and cow dung.

It’s mixed with sheep droppings and placed in the bag. If you compare it with what we were shown at the Selia store, it’s completely different. We were promised pure fertilizer, but instead, we received gravel and manure.”

Farmers are urgently requesting the immediate testing of the suspicious fertilizer to mitigate potential post-harvest losses.

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Esther Kuku, a farmer from Cheptil, pleaded, “Please conduct tests now and provide us with good-quality fertilizer. We are facing hunger, and how can we chase away hunger with such poor-quality fertilizer?”

John Kiprotich echoed this sentiment, saying, “Rather than harm farmers like this, it’s better to return the fertilizer and provide us with clean fertilizer, or refund our money so we can buy maize.”

These grievances follow recent police seizures of numerous bags of fake fertilizer and uncertified seeds distributed across the country.

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