Nyandarua potato farmers have approved regulations for Irish potatoes production, handling and marketing. They expressed reservations, however, about some sections of the regulations contained in the Crops Act, 2013. The rules require compliance with best practices in production, transportation and storage. They focus on marketing and quality assurance, and procedures and conditions for registration of growers, associations and dealers.
On Wednesday, more than 350 farmers and other sector players — including aggregators, government officials, transporters, marketing agents and processors — took part in a public participation forum at ACK Hall, Ol Kalou. They agreed potatoes should not be packaged in bags larger than 50kg. This is to protect farmers from exploitation by brokers or other dealers.
They, however, contested the section requiring dealers to register with the county or national governments. They said this will raise the cost of production and hurt profitability. The farmers also fear the proposed registration of growers’ associations and marketing agents, among others, could make room for unscrupulous traders to infiltrate the sector, as happened in tea and coffee sectors.
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