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State appoints team to run new agriculture units

By Nicholas Waitathu | August 9th 2014

Kenya: The Government has appointed an interim team of ten agriculture professionals to head new directorates created recently under the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority (AFFA).

Agriculture, livestock and fisheries Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei yesterday appointed Alfred Busolo as the interim director general of AFFA, Rosemary Mkok, head of Sugar directorate, Elizabeth Kimenyi (Tea), Grenville Kiplimo (Coffee) and Solomon Odera (Pyrethrum).

Others are Zakayo Magara (horticultural crops), Anthony Mureithi (fibre crops), Raymond Kahindi (nuts and oil crops), Chebii Kilel (food crops) and Nancy Cheruiyot (interim managing trustee of commodity fund). The managers will head the new units formed after disbandment of eight former agriculture regulatory bodies.

“To operationalise the authority, I have put an interim management team. While doing this we sourced from the rich expertise that exists within the directorates and the ministry on an interim basis, until substantive appointments are made. In addition, plans are underway for substantive placement of staff in line with the law,” said Mr Koskei. AFFA is the successor to the institutions established by Acts repealed under section 41 existing immediately before the commencement of the AFFA Act, the Crops Act, the Livestock Act and Fisheries Act.

Koskei defended the move to appoint the directors, saying the action was prompted by the need to avoid a crisis after August 1, 2014 when the agricultural institutions ceased to exist.

Sound governance

“To avoid an emerging disaster in the management of the authority, I had to appoint an interim team as the competitive recruitment of the substantive directors continues. My action is legal and further supports the interests of the government of ensuring smooth operations of its institutions,” he added. Nearly all chief officers on acting capacities in the former regulatory bodies, were appointed on interim basis.

Koskei said the new team will be in office for the next three months and will be assisted by AFFA Interim Management Committee established early this year headed by Hannah Mureithi to ensure it has put in place sound governance structures. At the same time recruitment of the 18 directors is going on. “If directors are recruited before the elapse of the three months, the interim managers will cease from being office,” he added.

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