• Kimemia urged the Anti-Counterfeit Authority to enhance market surveillance, investigations, raids and seizure of counterfeit goods.
• In 2017 alone, he said, the total value of illicit trade and counterfeit goods traded in Kenya was over Sh850 billion and has been growing at a rate of about 10 per cent.
Counterfeits and illicit trade are hurting the growth of businesses and the economy in Nyandarua county, Governor Francis Kimemia has said.
He said agrochemical products, hardware and electrical tools, and alcoholic drinks and beverages were among the worst-hit.
The governor's speech was read by Nyandarua Education executive and acting county secretary Stephen Njoroge on Friday during a sensitisation forum organised by the Anti-Counterfeit Authority in Ol Kalou.
He said reports indicated that counterfeit goods in Nyandarua are at 88.89 per cent, pirated goods at 72.22 per cent and substandard products at 94.44 per cent.
Others are non-customed goods at 38.89 per cent, restricted goods at 33.33 per cent and contraband goods at 22.22 per cent.
Kimemia urged the Anti-Counterfeit Authority to enhance market surveillance, investigations, raids and seizure of counterfeit goods, and escalate public outreach and awareness creation targeting administrative and law enforcement officers.
The governor said data collection from manufacturers, supply chain agents, and consumers on matters of counterfeiting and general illicit trade should also be enhanced.
Trade CAS Lawrence Karanja said illicit trade and counterfeiting is a menace that needs to be fought and brought to an end in the country if the local manufacturing sector is to achieve the intended target of 15 per cent contribution to the GDP by 2022.
Karanja said the contribution of illicit business to the national economy surpasses that of the manufacturing sector hence is a major threat to local manufacturing.
In 2017 alone, he said, the total value of illicit trade and counterfeit goods traded in Kenya was over Sh850 billion and has been growing at a rate of about 10 per cent.
“The government loses billions of shillings to illicit trade and counterfeits with a baseline survey showing that the loss of revenue was Sh129.72 billion and Sh153.1 billion in 2017 and 2018 respectively,” he said.
Nyandarua Deputy Governor Cecilia Mbuthia said the national survey puts the county at position three nationally in terms of illicit trade and counterfeit goods. This, she said, does not only risk the people’s lives but also their livelihoods.
Mbuthia said most of the fires that occur in Nyandarua have their origins from sub-standard cooking gas.
She said there was evidence indicating many deaths are caused by illicit alcoholic drinks.
Mbuthia further said potato and dairy farmers, in particular, have been hard-hit by counterfeits.
“You spray fungicides on your farm but still lose acres of potatoes to potato blight. You spray your cows, but they are still killed by diseases caused by ticks. If you de-worm your animals, it does not work as well. This is because what we buy in the local market is not genuine,” Mbuthia said.
Edited by A.N