10 Sep

Disbanding of the agriculture sector regulator has begun with the line ministry directing all agencies under the body to come up with their own bills.

The move comes two months after the government hinted that it will retire Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) and revert the agencies under it to their former bodies.

An official at AFA said agencies’ preparation of own bills as they prepare to revert to the previous independent bodies had started

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the government was forming a task force to examine the work and achievements of AFA since its inception.

AFA was formed in 2014 when 13 agricultural parastatals were collapsed into one. They included Coffee Board of Kenya, Kenya Sugar Board, Pyrethrum Board of Kenya and Horticulture Crop Development.

The ministry has delayed naming a substantive board for AFA and confirming different heads of the directorate pending the task force report.

Larger mandate

The CS said it could be difficult for AFA to work effectively given its larger mandate.

Parliament has already shown its inclination by questioning the effectiveness of AFA as one big institution managing different regulatory services.

The MPs, for instance, have called for the removal of the Tea Directorate from AFA, saying, it needs to revert to the Tea Board of Kenya as an independent body to carry out its mandate effectively.

Stakeholders have also called for dissolution of the Sugar Directorate, which they want to revert to the Kenya Sugar Board.

The Ministry of Agriculture plans to re-establish coffee, tea, sugar, coconut, sisal, cotton and pyrethrum boards and horticulture in the next one year.

Not well executed

Development of the bills will lead to repealing of the Crops Act, 2013, and eventually to enactment of respective legislations for each sub-sector.

Two months ago, Munya hinted of disbanding the authority arguing the regulation of various sub-sectors is not well executed

Source: Nation Media