Winstone Chiseremi @Wchiseremi
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago has put Agriculture ministry officials linked to alleged diversion of subsidised fertiliser on notice. Addressing the press in Eldoret yesterday, Mandago threatened to dismiss all ministry officials involved in the scam for trying to sabotage the government programme aimed at supporting the agricultural sector.
He claimed the officials were colluding with unscrupulous traders by registering them as farmers in large numbers at the location level in readiness for the April planting season. Their aim, he said, is to cause artificial shortage of the commodity at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), Eldoret depot, thereby, denying small-scale farmers access to the subsidised input.
“We are aware of the schemes being perpetrated by some dishonest County government officials in collusion with unscrupulous traders to deny the targeted groups from benefiting from the government programme. They will not escape my trap this year,” said Mandago.
“My government will take the bold initiatives needed to improve the agricultural sector by ensuring the subsidy programme benefits targeted farmers across the county,” he said. The governor said his administration will work closely with the National government and security agencies to tame the vice for the benefit of the farming community in the region.
Mandago assured farmers that his government will ensure the subsidised fertiliser will not be diverted to undeserving people as witnessed last year. This comes as large and small-scale farmers in the region prepare for the April maize-planting season ahead of the long rains set to begin in March.