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Economy

1,000-tonne fertiliser for flowers stuck at the port

Workers offload sacks of fertiliser
Workers offload sacks of fertiliser at the port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

More than 1,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser meant for flowers are stuck at Mombasa port awaiting clearance by the government’s multi-agency team.

The consignment cannot be released until a team headed by Deputy Head of Public Service Wanyama Musiambo clears it.

The team was formed to clean the market of illicit goods and rein in graft.

Fertiliser suppliers said the delay could upset flower exporters’ plans for the high season, which includes next week’s Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day in May.

“We are really concerned over the slow pace at which the multi-agency team is taking to clear goods at the port. This problem is not only affecting the flower industry but other sectors as well,” said Fertiliser Association of Kenya chairman Eustace Muriuki.

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He said the fertiliser had been held at the port for more than four months and pleaded with the government to speed up clearance of goods.

“As fertiliser traders we are normally issued with a certificate of conformity … It provides the Kenya Bureau of Standards and customs a proof that the goods being imported are in compliance with the relevant standards and technical regulations,” said Mr Muriuki.

“Despite producing this document, we are still subjected to the multi-agency team for another clearance process which takes time.”

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