Agriculture contributes approx. 24% of Kenya’s GDP, and employs 74% of the national labour force (Republic of Kenya, 2008).
The development of agriculture is important for poverty reduction since most of the vulnerable groups depend on agriculture as their main source of livelihood. Food Production is a key sector in the fulfilment of Kenya’s Vision 2030.
There has been a lot of talk about improving food production and security and as part of the aforementioned Vision 2030 the Crop Act was a means of setting up the infrastructure to achieve those goals.
If you want to read through the entire act click here. However, if you prefer to skip through and capture the highlights then read on.
1. Crop Regulation. The Crop Act applies to all scheduled crops specified in the First Schedule and to all agricultural land whether privately or communally held as well as to farmers, farmers’ organizations, cooperatives and community associations.
The Act will also seek to establish subsidiary bodies to focus on:
(a) food security;
(b) value addition, marketing and export;
(c) offer extension services for irrigation farming;
(d) pest and disease control;
(e) crop insurance;
(f) marketing; and
(g) any other aspect relating to crop development.
2. There are aspects that focus on regulation of scheduled crops and growers. I am not sure of the reasoning behind this, however for now get familiar with what is on the breeding program list.
FIRST SCHEDULE (S. 7) SCHEDULED CROPS Part 1: Crops with breeding program under compulsory certification
Sugarcane Saccharum spp..
Tea .Camellia spp.
Coffee Coffea spp.
Rhodes grass .Chloris gayana
Irish potatoes .Solanum tuberosum L.
Cotton Gossypium spp.
Sunflower Helianthus annuus L.
Part 2: Crops with breeding program under voluntary certification
Silver leaf desmodium
Green leaf desmodium
Sweetpotato Ipomeea batatas
Part 3: Crops with no breeding program
Pea Pisum sativum L.
Castor bean Ricinus commulis L.
Collards / Kale
Pumpkin/Squash/Courgette Cucurbita pepo L.
Tomato Solanum lycopersicon.
Coconut Cocos nucifera.
Cashewnut Indigenous Vegetables (Blacknightshade, Spider plant, etc)
Fruit trees (Mangoes, Avocado, Citrus, Pawpaw, etc)
3. Commodities Fund
9.(1) There is established a Fund to be known as the Commodities Fund.
(2) The Fund shall consist of-
(a) monies paid as license fees, commission, export or import agency fees and fees that may accrue to or vest in the Authority in the course of exercise of its functions under the Act;
(b) funds from any other lawful source approved by the Trustees; and
(c) funds appropriated by Parliament for this purpose.
(3) The Fund shall be managed by a Board of Trustees to be appointed by the Authority with the approval of the National Assembly.
10. (1) The Fund shall be used to provide, sustainable affordable credit and advances to farmers for all or any of the following purposes—
(a) farm improvement;
(b) farm inputs;
(c) farming operations;
(d) price stabilization; and
(e) any other lawful purpose approved by the Authority.
(2) The Authority shall, from time to time, make rules for the better management of the Fund in the best interest of farmers.
4. Incentives for growers. The Authority may, in accordance with rules and regulations made under this Act and subject to any other law, put in place programmes for ensuring the provision of the following incentives and facilities to growers and dealers of scheduled crops—
(a) credit assistance including provision of equipment for land preparation and other non-monetary assistance;
(b) credit guarantee;
(c) affordable farm-inputs including quality seeds, planting materials and market linkage;
(d) technical support including research and extension services;
(e) infrastruCtural support including physical infrastructure development, financial and market information;
(f) fertilizer cost-reduction investment projects including private sector involvement in fertilizer importation and distribution, promoting local fertilizer blending and initiating establishment of national or county fertilizer manufacturing plants;
(g) pest and disease control;
(h) post harvest facilities and technologies including storage, processing, distribution and transport facilities;
(i) tax exemptions including tax breaks and duty waivers on the impOrt of farm inputs and farm machinery.
5. Licensing and Taxation is a must, of course. Here is a preview of how…
17.(1) Pursuant to Article 209 of the Constitution, only the national government may impose, in relation to a scheduled crop—
(a) income tax;
(b) value-added tax;
(c) customs duties and other duties on import of agricultural and aquatic products; and
(d) excise duty.
(2) A county government may, pursuant to the Fourth schedule of the Constitution, impose fees for—
(a) development of agricultural crops within the county;
(b) development and regulation of scheduled crop markets within the county;
(c) issuance of trade licences to any person trading in scheduled crops within the county; and
(d) issuance of licenses for cooperative societies dealing with scheduled crops within the county.
(3) The fees imposed by a county government under subsection (2) shall not in any way prejudice national economic policies, economic activities across county boundaries or national mobility of goods, services, capital or labour.
(4) The Cabinet Secretary shall, using the structures established under the Intergovernmental Relations Act, No. 2 of 2012 put in place mechanism to avoid double taxation of agricultural and aquatic products by the two levels of governments.
18.(1) A person shall not manufacture or process a scheduled crop product for sale except under and in accordance with a licence issued under this Act.
(2) An application for a licence under this section shall be in writing and in the prescribed form and shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.
(3) The licensing authority may, after consultation with the county executive—
(a) issue a manufacturing licence, in accordance with this Act;
(b) refuse to issue the licence on any ground which may appear to the licensing authority to be sufficient and inform the applicant in writing of the reasons thereof;
(c) cancel, vary or suspend any licence if in the findings of the licensing authority, the licensee is found to have contravened the regulations made under this Act for the operation of manufacturing or processing entities.
The Authority , shall, in respect of each county, appoint an officer to be stationed in the county for purposes of this Act.
(2) The Authority shall delegate such exercise of its powers and such performance of its functions to the officer appointed under subsection (1) as shall be necessary in the discharge of its mandate in that county.
(3) An officer appointed under subsection (1) shall be deemed to be an inspector for purposes of this Act, and shall exercise such powers and perform such functions as an inspector may exercise or perform under this Act.
(4) A county officer appointed under subsection (1) shall liaise with the county executive committee in the discharge of its functions.
27. (1) The Authority may appoint qualified persons, to be inspectors for each scheduled crop for the purposes of this Act.
There you have it folks. What are your thoughts? Will this Act help or hinder Agribusiness in Kenya? Please share your thoughts and comments below.