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Police impound over 200 bags of fake fertilizer

14 May 2012, 11:22 Steve Wambugu

Police in Nakuru have arrested two people and impounded more than 250 bags of alleged counterfeit fertilizer at a Nakuru depot and a factory used to manufacture the product.

Deputy Officer Commanding Police Division Japheth Mwirichia who led the afternoon operation said the police raided the store following a tip-off by members of the public.

“In the afternoon today we got information from members of the public that a factory was manufacturing substandard fertilizer,” said Mwirichia.

He said that the fertilizer recovered seemed to have been a mixture of soil and other factory substance.
The police boss added that the police managed to arrest two people whom he said would be arraigned in court and charged accordingly.

The officer cautioned members of the public to be careful while buying fertilizer and other farm inputs saying that unscrupulous people would take advantage of the high demand of the inputs to manufacture substandard materials and sell to the farmers.
“During planting season farm inputs are in high demand and some people are taking advantage of this to manufacture fake inputs and sell to the unsuspecting farmers,” said Mwirichia.

Kenya Bureau of Standard KEBS Rift Valley region acting manager James Oisede who was present during the operation said that they got information that some people were packaging illegal fertilizer.

Osiede said that initial inspection indicated material resembling soil, lime and chalk packed in the bags. The bags were labeled “Mkulima Bora Fertilizer’’ and packed in a store while others were in a waiting lorry ready for transport. Osiede said that the manufacturers in the name of Quest Agriculture Limited had approached KEBS and applied for a permit to manufacture and package fertilizer in March this year.

He however said that the “The product in the bags seems to be a mixture of soil, lime and chalk but we have not yet confirmed this,” said Osiede.

He said that the Kebs officers had taken samples of the product from the warehouse for testing. “After testing we shall ascertain what substance the manufacturers  were using.” Said Osiede.

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