Kenya: Governors reject proposed Agriculture Reform Legislation

Kenya’s Council of Governors has asked the Senate to dismiss the five agricultural reforms legislation proposed by the Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya.

The Council uniformly rejected the drafting of the Sugar and Tea regulations, citing that it was evading the constitution.

Led by Tharaka Nithi, the Council issued a joint communique with the Senate Agricultural Committee on the proposed law.

On its part, the Senate, chaired by Senator Njeru Ndwiga, said it would summon Peter Munya over the queries raised on the agricultural reform legislation.

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The bills included Coffee Bill, Fibre Crops Development Authority Bill, Food Crops Development Bill, Horticulture Crops Authority Bill and the Miraa, Pyrethrum and Industrial Crops Bill.

A joint communique issued by Governors and the Senate committee read: “The Senate shall summon the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture to elaborate the policy framework that is being applied to undertake the ongoing agricultural reforms by the ministry.”

“We resolved to engage the ministry, the presidential task force on coffee reforms and Parliament to review the implementation of the Coffee General Regulations 2019 and the Coffee Exchange Regulations 2020 to start its commencement on November 1 as opposed to July 1, 2021.”

The committee further revealed that they will initiate a legislative review within six months of all the laws in the sector enacted before the promulgation of the constitution.

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This, it said, will help repeal some of the laws that create stage agencies to undertake devolved functions.

Meanwhile, Munya has defended the government-sponsored bills saying they are part of the on-going reforms aimed at increasing farmer’s income.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Capital Markets Authority has however been charged to ensure that the initial one million dollar bank guarantee would no longer be a requirement to the farmers in coffee trading.

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