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Is state planning to destroy agriculture?

In Summary

• New regulations combined with price controls will make it much harder to farm profitably

• The government wants to introduce price controls on crops like maize, barley, wheat, beans, peas, sweet potatoes and cassava

Farmers at Weiwei irrigation scheme in West Pokot
Farmers at Weiwei irrigation scheme in West Pokot
Image: MARYANNE CHAI

The Agriculture ministry and parliamentary Agriculture committee are planning new regulations (P10).

They may be intended to improve health and safety but they will make it much harder to farm profitably.

It will become illegal to irrigate farms unless the water has been declared safe by a laboratory; only water fit for drinking can be used to clean farm produce; no animal, wild or domestic, should enter a field with food crops; no manure should be spread on a field; only licenced dealers will be allowed to buy crops; large growers and growers association will only  be registered after their soil is tested; smallholders will only sell their produce through a growers association; it will be illegal to transport more than five tons of produce without a valid certificate; and so on.

To make matters worse, the government wants to introduce price controls on crops like maize, barley, wheat, beans, peas, sweet potatoes and cassava. 

So burdensome regulations increase the cost of being a farmer. At the same time, price controls reduce the profit you make. This sounds like a good way to kill agriculture.

Quote of the day: "The politician who never made a mistake never made a decision."

John Major
The English Prime Minister was born on 29 March, 1943