739 bags of government-subsidized fertilizer valued at Sh. 1.8 million have been recovered by detectives in a store at Matisi market Kitale -Endebbes road ahead of a planned illegal shipment to Uganda.

Three people, Ali Abdi Fatah, Abdi Hussein and Bonface Ouma, were arrested in suspicion of being being involved in the fraudulent acquisition of the fertilizer from National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depots and selling it in Uganda.

This comes after detectives got wind of the increased cases of theft of the fertilizer from government depots which is sneaked and later sold in other countries that prompted a probe into the matter.

It was after the alarm that a team of detectives raided the store at Matisi market where they found the consignment that had been stored there in readiness for shipping to the landlocked country.

In the raid detectives also recovered  delivery notes from some NCPB depots across the country. The exhibits were taken to NCPB Kitale depot for keeping as investigations into the matter continue.

Police said they have summoned and questioned all officials bearing responsibility for the acquisition and supply of the fertilizer this even as booked the three suspects at Kitale police as they hunt for more suspects involved in the illegal business.

This comes in the wake of the ongoing probe into the supply of fake fertilizer in the country with the Ministry of Agriculture defending the program saying that the fertilizer being sold is not fake but substandard.

The Ministry goes on to assert Kenyans that  they have completed the testing on all fertilizers being distributed under the subsidy programme noting that fertilizers being distributed meet the required quality requirements.

They have in the meantime directed NCPB to replace all the substandard fertilizers that were distributed to farmers as it escalates the probe into the alleged fake fertilizer scandal.

Agriculture Principal Secretary Paul Ronoh confirmed plans for thorough scrutiny of the entire fertilizer supply chain warning of tough legal action against those found culpable.

“We are going to replace the fertilizer with the right fertilizer because it is under investigation for the farmers who have used the fertilizers already we have also analyzed the missing component in those fertilizers which shall be addressed by top dressing fertilizers,”Ronoh said.

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