Government’s initiative to tighten controls on the agriculture sector by implementing the fourth schedule of the Crops Act passed in 2013 has thrown farmers into a delirium.
Regulation 30(2) of the draft, which deals with the prohibition of use raw human sewage and raw organic manure reads “A grower shall not use raw animal manure for the production of food crops”. Also, farmers are literally banned from growing crops using manure next to sites that could lead to the contamination of soil, air, and water.
These sites include land meant for disposal of garbage and industrial waste, sanitary waste management, mining, roadsides and sites with a history of flooding.
A policy proposal by The Kenya Institute of Public Policy and Research dubbed Organic Farming Potential and Benefits in Kenya advocated for organic farming as production muscle in the agriculture sector, yet the government insists on bringing order in the agriculture sector by banning the use of raw manure a practice that dates back to decades ago.
Devastated farmers took to social media to throw shade at the proposed crop bill under the hashtag #FarmersUnderSiege, that seems to sabotage their hard work to increase food production and food security in the country. We sampled a few of their comments.
@kevanmullah: I’m still trying to decipher how animal manure negatively affects crop production. As per my understanding animal manure is even better as compared to the manufactured fertilizer.
@geordiedodKE: Dairy Farmers, Coffee Farmers, Avocado Farmers, Poultry Farmers, Sugar Cane Farmers, Onions farmers, Maize Farmers. Our
@mike_mugendy: We must create policies that promote food production and safety but not at the expense of the grower!
@Edwincheruh: We cannot be advocating for food security and at the same time killing the food producer’s, which theory is that?