M a r k e t N e w s

Kenya: Speaker Muturi Pledges Support for Potato Bill

Posted on : Tuesday, 2nd August 2016

 National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has promised to fast track a Bill which seeks to end exploitation of potato farmers by cartels.

 
The Potato Produce and Marketing Bill has been pending before Parliament for the last two years and farmers have raised concern.
 
It aims at establishing a National Potato Council to promote quality and quantity of production and to set standards to regulate the industry.
 
At least 24 counties stand to benefit if it sails through and signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
 
The Muturi, speaking in Nyandarua County on Saturday, said he understood what the legislation means to farmers and explained why its debate could not happen last week.
 
The Bill was to be debated last week, but Mr Muturi said the chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture appeared to oppose it when he started moving it in the House, forcing him to shelve it.
 
"The chairman is going to bring his report and whether it rejects the Bill, I will know what to do," Mr Muturi said in Ndaragwa Constituency, Nyandarua County.
 
He said passage of the Bill will save farmers from exploitation by middlemen and cartels.
 
The Bill - which was drafted by Nyandarua Senator Muriuki Karue- among others, seeks to regulate potato packaging to insulate farmers from unscrupulous traders who purchase their produce in extra-large gunny bags at dismal prices.
 
Specific interventions would include regulating production, packaging, processing and marketing of the cash crop.
 
Kipipiri MP Samuel Gichigi said after the dismal performance of the pyrethrum sector, the county's residents were left with potatoes as their sole financial avenue.
 
He accused Parliament of failing the treat the industry seriously, despite evidence that it economically supports thousands of farmers across the country.
 
The MP urged colleagues to support the Bill when it is presented for debate in the House.

Source : allafrica.com
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