By Catherine Bekunda
THE National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has introduced a new procurement system to involve farmers in the procurement of technology.
Speaking to journalists at the media centre yesterday, NAADS executive director Silim Nahdy, said the new system would reduce corruption and the procurement of sub-standard technology.
â€œFarmers cannot cheat themselves and will only procure quality inputs,â€ he explained.
In the past, procurement was done by the sub-county contracts committee, but the process was marred by corruption as officers over-priced inputs.
Under the new system, farmer groups, through their community procurement committee, write their plan in which they mention where they want to procure their products.
The farmers then present their plan to the NAADS sub-county coordinators, who, together with technical personnel from the district, verify the quality and quantity of the inputs. The service provider only invoices the sub-county, if officials are satisfied.
The NAADS programme is a government intervention aimed at increasing house-hold incomes through the provision of information, knowledge and technology to farmers countrywide.
It is being implemented in all the 80 districts in the country.
Nahdy said the previous process was bureaucratic, adding that a lot of money was spent on taxes and advertising.
He also blamed political divisions for failing NAADS programmes in some districts.
Over sh40b is received by sub-counties countrywide for the provision of NAADS services.
Research done by the International Food Policy Research Institute shows that for every sh2 invested, a farmer gets sh8, thus portraying a good return on investment. The research was commissioned by the Government to assess the impact of NAADS in 2007.
On why NAADS supplies inputs during dry seasons, Nahdy said they were negotiating with the finance ministry to start releasing money according to farming seasons.
Currently, money is released on a quarterly basis and the quarters do not follow the planting seasons.
Nahdy said this had led to loss of inputs, which are procured during the dry season.