Feb 27, 2017, 10:54 AM
One Alieu Saine, a retired store officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Friday gave evidence before the Fertilizer Commission sitting at the high court premises in Banjul.
Saine told the commission that he was in charge of the store from 1998 to 2010, adding that he knew something about the fertilizer consignment in 2009.
He added that he was responsible for the dispatching of the fertilizer, but then they were working on three types of fertilizers, adding that he had not seen the area.
Saine further asserted that, in terms of quantity, the triple-fifteen brand could be lesser than the double-fifteen brand.
He stated that he was given a bill of lading, but when he reached the seaport, what he actual evacuated was different from what was stipulated on the bill of lading.
The next to testify was one Alfu Jain Marong, former permanent secretary at the ministry of Agriculture, who told the commission that he came to know about the fertilizer procurement in 2009, when he was the regional director of Agriculture in Kerewan NBR, when they embarked on a monitoring tour.
He said he heard the farmers complaining that the fertilizer they received was not effective, adding that he cautioned the farmers.
Marong further adduced that he contacted the then PS, Kekoi Kuyateh, and Sombo Ceesay, a soil scientist.
He added that he later found out that the fertilizer brand 062010, was more vigorous, stating that on that basis he recommended the brand 062010, instead of the 15-15 brand.
He said that he later regretted why he recommended that brand, because he had received a series of complaints, informing him that the fertilizer was not effective, and was also harmful to the crops.
Marong added that after his discussion with the Secretary General, he was called to a meeting, and told that the government wanted him to supply them with more information about the fertilizer.
He told the commission that Dr Marenah called him and lodged a complaint that the fertilizer was not effective.