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Disbanding of agriculture sector regulator starts

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

The process of disbanding the agriculture sector regulator has started with the line ministry directing all agencies under the body to come up with their own bills.

The move comes just months after the government hinted it will break up Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) and revert different agencies under it to their former bodies.

“Each directorate has started the process of preparing their own bills as we prepare to revert to the previous independent bodies,” said an official at AFA.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the government was forming a taskforce to examine the work and achievements of AFA since its inception in 2014.

It formation followed the collapse of 13 agricultural parastatals into one.

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Some of the parastatals that were collapsed under AFA include Coffee Board of Kenya, Kenya Sugar Board, Pyrethrum Board of Kenya and Horticulture Crop Development.

The ministry has delayed naming a substantive board for AFA and confirming different heads of the directorate pending the report from the taskforce.

Mr Munya said it could be difficult for AFA to work effectively given its larger mandate.

Parliament has already shown its inclination by questioning the effectiveness of AFA as one big institution managing different regulatory services.

MPs, for instance, have called for the removal of the Tea Directorate from AFA saying it needs to revert back to the Tea Board of Kenya as an independent body to carry out its mandate effectively.

Stakeholders have also called for dissolution of the Sugar Directorate, which they want to be reverted to the Kenya Sugar Board as it was before.

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