•The Ministry of Agriculture has released five agricultural reform bills for public participation.
•The bills are the Coffee Bill, Fibre Crops Development Authority Bill, Food Crops Development Bill, Horticulture Crops Authority Bill and the Miraa, Pyrethrum, and Industrial Crops Bill.
Agriculture CS Peter Munya has said a new coffee Bill will reintroduce levies which had been scrapped.
He said there will be a two per cent levy on gross sales of all coffee which will be remitted to the Coffee Research Institute to support research.
“There will be a four percent coffee import levy calculated on the customs value of the coffee. This will be remitted to the Board to support coffee promotion. There will also be a two percent buyers’ levy which will be split into two with one percent going to support the Board’s regulatory functions and another one will go to coffee growing counties to support coffee development,” he said.
Munya spoke on Thursday at Kilimo House while announcing the release of the bills for public participation.
The Ministry of Agriculture has released five agricultural reform bills for public participation.
The bills are the Coffee Bill, Fibre Crops Development Authority Bill, Food Crops Development Bill, Horticulture Crops Authority Bill and the Miraa, Pyrethrum, and Industrial Crops Bill.
Munya said the bills will immediately be availed for the first round of public discussion. He invited stakeholders and the general public to submit their views over the next 21 days.
“The public will also have a second window to more comprehensively engage with the bills upon their submission to Parliament in a month’s time. As you are aware, the Sugar Bill 2020, and the Tea Bill 2020 are at an advanced stage in Parliament as private members’ bills,” he said.
This comes as various stakeholders including the Kenya Tea Development Agency have gone to court to seek an order to stop the CS from implementing the Crops (Tea Industry) Regulations 2020.
On October 9, the Council of Governors sought to a join a petition filed by KTDA challenging the tea reforms.
Munya said these government-sponsored bills are part of on-going agricultural reforms that seek to increase the farmers’ incomes, in line with the Big 4 Agenda.
He noted that, since the establishment of the Agriculture and Food Authority six years ago, key value-chains, such as coffee, tea, sugar and pyrethrum, have not received adequate attention.
The CS said there has been a challenge in regulating all crops under a single agency, AFA, making it difficult to design an acceptable Stakeholder Council for multiple crops.
“Therefore, rather than creating a Technical Board and a Stakeholder Council as we have done with the more established crop value chains like sugar, coffee and tea, we propose to have an Authority which will have a Board of Management with powers to develop and nurture the different crops within its cluster,” he said.
The proposed specialized laws seek to introduce focus and clarity in the management of the various crop value-chains, since we merged all crops under one agency, AFA.
“Each of these bills provides a facilitative arena for the role that County governments will play in the governance of value chains to be actualised,” he said.