STEADY SUPPLY

CS Munya to counties: Waive cess on food, monitor prices daily

CS sets rules regarding hygiene, safety in the production and transportation of food.

In Summary

• The ministry directed county governments to also ensure that transporters fumigate and sanitise their trucks before loading them with food produce.

• Counties are also to train motorbike riders and handcart operators to observe hygiene while hauling food products.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya during a past tour of Kanynya-ini tea factory in Kangema.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya during a past tour of Kanynya-ini tea factory in Kangema.
Image: ALICE WAITHERA

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has asked county governments to waive cess charged at roadblocks in the regions to ease transportation of food.

The fees charged at various points is one of the key revenue streams for the county governments, especially for those in food growing areas.

Munya said the relief will go a long way in easing food prices in the wake of the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

There is a surge in demand for food amid fears the government would impose stricter movement restrictions.

The CS, in a memo to the council of governors, says there is a need to manage the supply chain to ensure food is available, accessible, and affordable.

In this regard, counties are required to monitor food prices and report prices of key commodities in major markets daily.

Munya has also set rules regarding hygiene and safety in the production and transportation of food.

The directives will apply to players in the food supply chain being those dealing with farm inputs, production, trade, transport, logistics, handling, and consumption.

The ministry directed county governments to also ensure that transporters fumigate and sanitise their trucks before loading them with food produce.

Counties are also to train motorbike riders and handcart operators to observe hygiene while hauling food products.

 

“Ensure they observe hygiene including sanitizing personnel and equipment used in food handling and transportation,” Munya’s memo reads.

 

The CS further wants counties to ensure food trucks have a maximum of two cargo crew – a driver and loader.

“Ensure that cargo crew is screened at the point of departure or in designate screening points along the routes,” Munya notes.

The CS said they will do all it takes to ensure there is continuity of agricultural activities during the long rains season.

In this regard, the ministry wants counties to ensure farmers observe rules on the safe use of chemicals, the use of certified seeds, decomposed manure, and fertilizers.

There will be continuous surveillance and reporting on locust invasion as well as pests such as fall armyworm and maize lethal necrosis disease.

Munya urged counties to ensure there are no cases of farmers hoarding produce hence stage breaks in supply to the markets, producers, and processors.

“Let county extension staff train households on nutrition-related intervention and to minimize food wastage during preparation,” the memo reads.

The CS has encouraged households to consider using online digital technologies for food procurement and home deliveries.

Counties are also required to certify food handlers and also decentralize markets to reduce travel and overcrowding.

They are also required to ensure vendors transact through mobile-money platforms and mark out food circulation routes.


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