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Commodities

Munya extends coffee trading rules for a year

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has extended implementation of coffee trading rules by one year, setting the stage for resumption of the coffee auction which had stalled due to lack of clarity on the extension of regulations that were to come to an end last month.

In a gazette notice issued last week, Mr Munya said the General Coffee Regulations will still be operational up to June next year, overriding the Capital Markets Act that was to be effected by April 2021.

Capital Markets (Coffee Exchange) Regulations, 2020 were supposed to take effect from July 1. However, the regulator extended the old rules through guidelines to the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE).

Coffee marketers declined to use the guidelines issued by the CMA citing lack of clarity on the trading rules, leading to postponement of coffee sales at the auction.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 40 of the Crops Act, the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture makes the following Regulations… all marketing licenses existing as on June 30, 2019, shall remain valid until June 30, 2021,” read the gazette notice.

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The move comes as a boost to farmers who have been staring at losses after the marketing agencies refused to submit required auction information for resumption of sales, citing lack of gazette notice to that effect as the previous regulations were no longer in use.

NCE chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi confirmed to the Business Daily that the auction will now resume following the publishing of the gazette notice.

“We are now ready for the auction and we have all the required information for the next sale after the gazette notice was published,” said Mr Mbithi.

Mr Munya said previously that the CMA regulations did not put into consideration public participation for the stakeholders. He promised to present the reviewed version of the regulations for public participation within two weeks.

The Kenya Coffee Producers Association, an umbrella body of the growers, echoed the CS sentiments, pointing out that development of trading rules is supposed to be an inclusive process that brings together all stakeholders, urging a review of the CMA trading rules.

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