Lukas Mosenda, Migori County CECM Agriculture addressing farmers at Awendo Cereals grounds. Photo by Peter Ologi, KTMN

Farmers in Migori County have faulted the County government and the National Government of mismanaging the distribution of subsidized fertilizers in the County.

In Awendo Sub County, the angry farmers have complained of the process being hijacked by the private investors who hoard the fertilizers and later sell to them at galloping prices.

The farmers have also condemned the slow process making them to stand for long hours while others go for even two days before being served.

Joshua Ouma, a large scale farmer in Awendo Sub County said that he was forced to stand for two days in order to get served.

“This is my second day on this line waiting for my time to be served while others who do not make lines are being favoured,” said Ouma.

The farmers have called on the County’s department to bring on board more officers to fasten the verification of farmers and distribution of the fertilizers.

“We call upon the concerned department to ensure that this process runs smoothly and faster by adding more officers,” said Isaac Onyango, a farmer from Uriri Sub County.

Some complained of lack of soil assessment before the distribution of fertilizers saying some of the fertilizers being given like NPK is incompatible with some soils.

The farmers who mainly grow sugarcane and maize have requested the government to redirect it elsewhere or exchange it with Di ammonium Phosphate (DAP) and Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN).

He also complained of crafty officers who do not want to follow the correct order of the list leading to commotion and uproar from the farmers.

“Most of us use DAP for planting and CAN for top dressing and at no point do we use NPK or whatever kind of fertilizer,” said Isaac.

While responding to the complains at the scene, Lucas Mosenda, the County Executive Committee Member for agriculture assured the farmers that the department is committed to serve the interests of the farmers.

Mosenda who was accompanied by his Chief Officer of the department Michael Midwa said that his main commitment is to turn around the agriculture department in Migori County.

“We are all here for you farmers to follow up the process of this distribution of this subsidized fertilizers,” said Mosenda.

While addressing the allegations of the fertilizers being sold to the private agrovet owners in nearby towns, the CECM said that the department has already started investigations to dig deep into the issue.

Michael Midwa, Chief Officer, department of agriculture addressing the farmers. Photo/ Peter Ologi, KTMN

He assured the farmers that the matter is already on his desk and the ongoing investigations will leave no stone unturned.

“We have started following the matter with a lot of interest and once the truth is out, we will give a concrete report and subsequent actions shall be taken,” added the CECM.

He sounded a stern warning to those who might be involved in the heinous act saying that it denies farmers who registered for the program to be served.

“I wish to send a strong warning that we are soon unmasking the criminals who deny our farmers access to their rights,” he added.

Mercy Wamalwa, Awendo Deputy County Commissioner assured the farmers of her commitment to ensure that no criminal activities are registered at any point of the distribution process.

She also said that as a security protocol, her team will be coordinating the process to unmask those with the intention to hoard the fertilizers.

“I am always alert to ensure that the process is smooth and in case of anything, my team will be following the right channels to restore normalcy,” said Ms Wamalwa.

Subsidized fertilizer program is a project of the national government aimed at boosting the national produce from the agriculture sector to fight the annual hunger epidemic in Kenya.

The project which is being rolled from the government is supervised by the County government to ensure that all registered farmers get the service.

As the supervisor of the project, the department of agriculture advised that no farmer should take more than 10 bags of 50kg fertilizer.

This according to the CECM, will ensure that every farmer who registered for the program get its benefit.

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