It began with the milk bill discriminating dairy farmers from hawking milk, and now a crop bill illegalizing use of animal manure for farming has been proposed.
Farmers are prohibited from growing crops next to sites whose land use could result in contamination of soil, air, and water. Mixed farmers who grow crops side by side with animals for domestic animal production and also use animal manure to enrich their farms are banned from such practices under these regulations.
Regulation 27 of the Bill, restricts food-crop production next to sites where there is a likelihood of contamination through water drainage, run-off, wind erosion, animals, vehicles and equipment. Other areas prohibited are sites for disposal of garbage and industrial waste, sanitary waste management, mining, roadsides and sites with a history of flooding
The proposed law, Crops (Food Crops) Regulations 2018 seeks to tighten regulations governing food production, processing, marketing, imports and exports in the agriculture sector vouching for the appointment of food inspectors to ensure that food crops and products conform to local and international standards. Any farmer obstructing a food-crops inspector from accessing farms or processing premises will be liable for a jail term of up to three years.
Government now wants to oversee safety standards in the harvesting, grading, packaging, labeling, transportation, and processing of crops. Collect and maintain a database on food-crop production, prices and products, come up with procedures and conditions for licensing collection centers, dealers, processors, warehouses, importers and exporters while issuing permits for imports, exports, movement, and marketing of food crops are among the cores of the drafted bill.
The proposed Bill drafted by The Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation Cabinet secretary, the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) and county governments will be tabled in Parliament after final drafting by the Attorney-General. The manager of regulations and compliance at AFA Ms. Beatrice Nyamwamu said the bill is the first serious attempt to bring order in the sector.