Uproar Over Crops Bill

If the Crops Regulations 2018 Bill is adopted into law, it will be a criminal offence to use animal manure to plant crops. The Bill also seeks  to tighten the

  • PublishedMarch 29, 2019

If the Crops Regulations 2018 Bill is adopted into law, it will be a criminal offence to use animal manure to plant crops.

The Bill also seeks  to tighten the regulations governing food production, processing, marketing, imports and exports.

Consequences for obstructing inspectors

Other tough measures proposed include a jail term of up to three years for any person obstructing a food crops inspector from accessing farms or processing premises.

Prohibited areas for growing crops

Farmers are also prohibited from growing crops in sites whose land use could result in contamination of soil, water and air. Such areas include: sites used for domestic animal production which many farmers rely on for cheaper animal manure, garbage disposal, industrial waste, sanitary waste, roadsides and mining areas.

Regular Quality Checks on Crops

The government also seeks to regulate and conduct regular quality checks on maize, barley, finger millet, pearl millet, wheat, wheat pasta, oats, rye, triticale) and legumes (soya beans, pigeon peas, cowpeas, chicken peas, broad beans, duster beans, dolichos beans ).

Contract Registration

The new bill also proposes that dealers, marketing agents, collection centres, warehouse operators, manufacturers and exporters to register their contracts with farmers at the Agriculture Food Authority (AFA). The new contracts will also be witnessed by county governments.

Speaking to The Nation, Ms Beatrice Nyamwamu, Manager of Regulations and Compliance at AFA said that the proposed Bill will also oversee safety standards in the harvesting, grading, packaging, labelling, transportation and processing of crops.

“Before you go into irrigation, let your water be analysed. This will protect you from losses when the produce is later condemned for having been grown in polluted or contaminated water,” said Ms. Nyamwamu.

The Bill, which is in its final drafting stage, has been proposed by the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) and county governments.

Kenyans were however not convinced with the new proposals and they expressed fears and their displeasure on the Bill.

Below are sample views from Kenyans

The casual manner in which government treats Agriculture (removing it from the syllabus…) leaves one to conclude that someone wants to benefit from the chaos they’re creating. That’s why #FarmersUnderSiege is not just a hash tag, it’s an SOS call! pic.twitter.com/TvuiTQxI8j

— Caleb Karùga (@CalebKaruga) March 29, 2019

A Kenyan farmer has always been under siege.

Consumer goods such as onions, textiles, fish and processed tomatoes that can, and have been, easily produced locally have been shipped en masse from China.

Kenyan onions cannot compete against Tanzanian onions #FarmersUnderSiege pic.twitter.com/2346hU3RP7

— Irri Hub Ke/Afric. (@IrriHub) March 29, 2019

I grew up being taught that agriculture is the backbone of our economy. In short, No agriculture, means starvation. Food security is among the Big 4 agenda. How will we achieve that? Think of the small scale farmers in the village. #FarmersUnderSiege

— Rodger Shabbs 🇰🇪🇰🇪 (@Mr_Shabbs) March 29, 2019

Dirty hands are clear signs of clean money.. I guess our system isn’t used to clean money… 🤷🏿‍♀️#FarmersUnderSiege pic.twitter.com/67e26i5QqW

— Irri Hub Ke/Afric. (@IrriHub) March 29, 2019

We cannot be advocating for food security and at the same time killing the food producer’s, which theory is that? #FarmersUnderSiege pic.twitter.com/DmADZpyw59

— Edwin Cheruh (@EdwinCheruh) March 29, 2019

Written By