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Agriculture CS Peter Munya talks tough on potato packaging rules

BUSINESS NEWS
By Jennifer Anyango | March 11th 2021
Agriculture CS Peter Munya (PHOTO: FILE)

Potatoes packaged in bags weighing over 50 kilograms will not be allowed into markets, the Ministry of Agriculture has warned.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has instructed counties to station enforcement officers in markets to implement the law.

This is to ensure that no player in the value chain is exploited, he said.

In January, court handed farmers a big win after dismissing a case seeking to block the law on packaging potatoes in 50kg bags. The cases filed by 17 farmers at the high court in Nairobi was seeking to bar the government from implementing section 42 of the Agriculture Fisheries and Food Authority Act.
Munya said perishability of products should not be used by middlemen to take advantage of farmers.

“There is no challenge to the law anymore, cases filed have been finalised and the potato regulations are now in force, we are calling upon all law enforcement agencies, regulators from county and national levels to take the responsibility of ensuring that law is observed seriously,” said Munya.

He said for a long time farmers have been forced to repackage potatoes at market entry points in Nairobi or else they will not sell.

“This is so that the farmer gets a fair share of his produce. Right now the famer is being cheated with the way the produce is being packaged. We have areas that are very notorious like the Wakulima market in Nairobi,” said Munya.
Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) Acting Director General Kello Harsama said County inspectors supporting enforcement in respective counties will be gazetted and trained on the regulations.

“We are aware that brokers have mismanaged this industry, we are here to protect the interest of farmers funds to ensure they get what they deserve,” he said.

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Sensitisation meetings on enforcement of the regulations will be done in Nyandarua, Meru, Narok, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nakuru, Trans Nzoia and Mombasa.
 

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