×
× Digital News Videos Opinion Special Reports Lifestyle Central Coast Eastern Nairobi North Eastern Nyanza Rift Valley Western Business News Stocks Financial Standard Africa Asia America Europe Weird News Editorial Commentary Letters Crazy World Features Entertainment Money & Careers Health & Science Sci & Tech Home & Away Generation Next Cartoon Education Pointblank Environment Travel & Destination Columns Kipkoech Tanui uReport Kiambu Murang'a Nyandarua Kirinyaga Nyeri Baringo Bomet Elgeyo Kajiado Kericho Laikipia Nakuru Nandi Narok Samburu Trans Nzoia Turkana Mombasa Kwale Kilifi Tanariver Taita Taveta Kakamega Vihiga Bungoma Busia Siaya Kisumu Homabay Migori Kisii Nyamira Nairobi Uasin Gishu West Pokot Sunday Magazine The Hague Trial Kenya @ 50 Education and Training Health and Environment Insurance and Financial Security Housing Current Affairs Humour Makau Mutua David Oginde Clay Muganda Comand Your Morning Mohamed Wehliye Wednesday Life Alexander Chagema Arts & Culture Kamotho Waiganjo Barrack Muluka Xn Iraki Urban Rights - By Steve Ouma Branding Voice KCB Fredrick Ogola Sunday Magazine Wanja Kavengi Njoki Kaigai David Oginde Ken Opalo Daisy Maritim Houghton Irungu Hustle News Group Stages Round of 16 Quarter Finals Semi Finals Finals Third Place play-offs Opinion Dr Pesa Podcasts Round Table Sepetuko Eve Woman Ramadhan Special Fact Check Correction Explainers The Standard Insider Blog E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×

Proposed rules to change miraa growing and trade

By Wainaina Ndung’u and Phares Mutembei | July 31st 2018 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

John Richoro, a miraa trader in Kiengu, Meru County. [File, Standard]

Miraa farmers and traders are bracing for sweeping changes that will see the agricultural sub-sector streamlined.

Most important, miraa growers have to adhere to the new regulations before the crop can be recognised as a cash crop.

Classification of the stimulant as a cash crop will come with benefits since farmers will enjoy subsidies and assistance from the Government as is the case with other cash crops.

Miraa Regulations

If approved, the Miraa Regulations 2018, will govern farming, produce handling, packaging, storage, transportation, processing and even pricing. The rules are currently being subjected to public participation.

The rules might put an end to speeding vans associated with transportation of miraa and ‘muguka’.

The new rules, under Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), establishes Miraa, Pyrethrum and other industrial crops directorate, which will have a major say in the growing and marketing of the stimulant which was previously unregulated.

The directorate is to have the same status as similar Government agencies regulating tea, coffee, coconut and macadamia nuts.

Right stage

Unlike now when farmers regularly harvest twigs to sell, it will be a requirement that miraa will be harvested at the right stage of maturity to be determined by AFA.

“Dealers shall not aggregate, broker or trade in miraa produce unless that dealer is licensed by the authority,” reads one of the proposed regulations.

Vehicles for transporting miraa will also be expected to be built and equipped to ensure maintenance of prescribed temperatures to prevent damage and spoilage of produce.

“Persons handling produce shall be healthy, protected and trained on produce handling,” states one of the provisions.

The head of the Miraa and Pyrethrum directorate is Clement Muyesu, who has taken over from Mathews Osodo. Osodo was the interim head when the agency was set up last year.

The Crops Department under Richard Lesiyampe at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has the mandate to set up AFA directorates, and miraa appears to have been lumped together with pyrethrum.

In consultation with the county governments where miraa is grown, the directorate will develop and promote miraa, register miraa growers, license processors, commercial nursery operators and dealers, and co-ordinate activities of stakeholders and organisations within the miraa industry.

Counties currently identified as miraa growing areas are Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi, although in future more regions may be recognised, according to Muyesu.

Functions of the directorate will include identifying and recommending research areas, facilitating flow of findings to interested parties as well as promoting and encouraging arbitration and mediation of disputes among parties in the industry.

The miraa directorate will also establish institutional linkages and help county governments build capacity to manage the sub-sector.

It will also set required standards for miraa and miraa products and monitor the domestic and international market; with a view to identifying and advising on any new opportunities, threats and trends in the market.

“In collaboration with other relevant stakeholders, the directorate will regulate the provision and distribution of seeds, seedlings and clonal materials to growers in accordance with the Seeds and Plant Varieties Act,” says the proposed rules.

Crucial markets

At a time when miraa faces international ban in some crucial markets, the directorate will be the link to international research agencies and other relevant regional research organisations.

It will also regulate the export of miraa and its products, and prescribe the maximum waiting period for a grower to be paid for produce delivered as well as penalties for delayed payments.

The rules require the directorate to facilitate the formation of a National Miraa Grower Lobby Group to represent farmers’ interest.

In order to ensure quality produce, only growers registered by county governments will be allowed to establish nurseries for crop multiplication.

Need licences

Those establishing nurseries to sell within Kenya will need licences from county governments, while those eyeing the international market will require licences from the directorate.

But licences will only be issued after site visits and tests on the operator’s knowledge of nursery management and land preparation techniques.

Seedling operators will be required to display their licences, which will not be transferable, while movement of planting materials between counties will require a movement permit from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service and their county government.

All nurseries will be inspected and certified every six months while operators will be required to keep accurate records of distributed planting materials.


miraa farming miraa traders miraa
Share this story

Read More

Feedback