The details emerged on Sunday during a talk show aired on RBA, where RNP spokesperson, ACP Boniface Rutikanga revealed that 18 agro-suppliers have been arrested for diverting these subsidized inputs.
He explained that some agro-inputs are even smuggled into neighboring countries using fraudulent techniques, such as soliciting fertilizers for uncultivated land.
Gicumbi and Kirehe are among districts where such incidents were reported.
Thierry Murangira, the spokesperson of Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), indicated that these frauds often involved the falsification of documents through the "Smart Nkunganire" system, a government subsidy program for agricultural inputs introduced in 2017.
"Between July 2022 and June 2023, 33 cases were recorded, leading to the arrest of 61 individuals involved in the embezzlement of 57 tons of fertilizers," he added.
Dr. Ildephonse Musafiri, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, warned over 3,000 agro-suppliers in the country against all forms of fraud.
Emphasizing the importance of subsidies, he recalled that for the 2023 A agricultural season, the government allocated Rwf36 billion, including 5.16 billion for seeds and 30.84 billion for fertilizers, to ensure that the money benefits only genuine farmers.