Photo retrieved from Business Daily Africa
A sensitization exercise will commence on 2nd April across various counties growing potatoes targeting brokers, traders, farmers, stakeholders, and transporters. From 2nd April, strict packaging guidelines will take effect, and all traders will be required to package potatoes in bags not exceeding kilograms. These measures are being enforced by authorities to eliminate brokers who exploit farmers by using extended bags of 130kg to 260kg. They buy the produce from farmers at relatively low prices and selling the potatoes with a price difference of up to 1000 percent.
In collaboration with stakeholders in the potato value chain and the Ministry of Interior, AFA has come up with packaging guidelines that will come into play from 2nd April, urging all traders, transporters, farmers, and stakeholders in the potato value chain to comply with the new regulation.
AFA is currently engaging an enforcement team in Nairobi, according to kbc.co.ke, and sensitization of traders will commence before the end of March in Nairobi and its environs. AFA has gathered inspectors to enforce the rule in other counties including Nyeri, Nyandarua, Uasin Gishu, Meru, Nakuru, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kiambu, and Narok.
Brokers and middlemen in the potato value chain have up to 2nd April to adhere to the 50kg per bag rule. In 2019, the Crop Regulation (Irish Potatoes) was implemented, providing the regulation of the production, collection, grading, transportation, storage, warehousing, processing, and marketing of potatoes. Unfortunately, only a small number has conformed with the regulation as reported by AFA’s food directorate.
The implementation of the 50-kg rule had been delayed since it was being challenged in court by various groups in the potato value chain. However, the High Court of Kenya ruled that the packaging of potatoes should remain at 50kg. From 1st April, the new rule will be executed in the entire potato value chain, including in the production and markets.