Potato farmers, processors and traders will now have to register with the government in a raft of measures included in the new regulations that also require the commodity to be packaged in maximum 50-kilogramme bags.
The Crops Irish Potato Regulations 2019 require that farmers — both small-scale and large-scale — and any other person dealing in the produce to register with the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA).
Upon listing, a county government will issue the applicants a certificate of registration to show conformity with the set regulations.
The new rules, set for launch this week, also make it mandatory that the selling and buying of Irish potatoes for commercial purposes to be done at registered collection centres and designated markets.
Exploitation by brokers
“A dealer, processor and exporter shall collect Irish potatoes from producers at a registered and designated collection centre,” state the regulations that Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri published in the Kenya Gazette.
The county government will maintain a register of all listed growers and related associations, collection centres, processors, dealers and marketing agents operating in the devolved units and submit copies of up to date register to the authority by January 31 of every year.
The selling and buying of Irish potatoes for home consumption may be done through a collection centre, medium or designated market.
Farmers have over the years urged the government to save them from exploitation by brokers who only buy potatoes that weigh more than 100 kilogrammes a bag.
This will be the second time that the government is fighting to have the weight of potatoes reduced to 50 kilogrammes.
Traders have been buying from farmers at more than 50kg, a move that the government contested in court in 2014 but lost the case.
“Any person who contravenes this regulation commits an offence,” the rules state, without giving a specific penalty for this.
The rules also require Irish potatoes for commercial purposes to be transported in natural and synthetic fibre sacks, moulded plastic boxes, sawn wooden boxes and paper or plastic film sacks.
The AFA will appoint inspectors to ensure that all stakeholders adhere with the set guidelines in the regulations.
The inspector will, among other things, seize and detain Irish potatoes packaged or transported in a manner that does not conform to the regulations at the cost of the offender.
Retrieved from pressreader