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564 Tonnes Of Donated Fertiliser To Kenya Reported Missing

A BBG Baise Monrovia cargo ship at the Port of Mombasa carrying fertiliser from Russia in this picture taken on May 31, 2023. PHOTO: The Nation

A report by the auditor general has emerged revealing that a consignment of 564 tonnes of raw fertiliser donated to Kenya by Russia has gone missing, disappearing before it even reached the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

The missing consignment was part of the 34,400 tonnes of raw fertiliser material Russia had given to Kenya in 2023 in a persuasion campaign to win over African countries in its war against Ukraine.

According to Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) only received 33,835.9 tonnes.

“NCPB (National Cereals and Produce Board) received 33,835.9 metric tonnes, hence a short landing of 564.1 metric tonnes from the 34,400 metric tonnes of fertiliser raw materials donated from Russia. The cause of the short landing was not explained,” read the audit report.

It is suspected that unscrupulous dealers had a hand in the vanishing of the shipment, nicking the fertiliser while still on the high seas, which could explain why the consignment did not arrive at the port.

The 564 tonnes of missing fertilizer could have generated 1,643 tonnes of ready-to-use fertilizer, valued at Kshs 197 million, based on the market price of Kshs 6,000 per 50-kilogram bag.

The Ministry of Agriculture has remained mum on the matter, declining to take interviews by local media houses seeking clarification on how such a massive load of fertilizer could have vanished into thin air.

Russia had provided the commodity to Kenya amidst a substantial rise in global fertilizer prices caused by the invasion and the COVID-19 pandemic, using it as a geopolitical strategy to strengthen its influence in various African nations.

This could spell doom for the Ministry which has been in the spotlight over the recent fake fertiliser scandal that made headlines, especially following the increased scrutiny on the current administration by the public over corruption and embezzlement of public resources.

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