The Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) draft regulations are being subjected to national validation by stakeholders as the government prepares to start purchasing maize under the scheme starting next month.
The validation, which was launched by the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya Tuesday, gives room for stakeholders to give a nod and avoid legal suits resulting from lack of public participation.
“The national validation workshop is targeted at affording various stakeholders a further opportunity to look at the draft WRS Regulations again and ascertain that it speaks to and reflects our collective position as a sector,” said Mr Munya.
Stakeholders’ consultations covered a wide range of actors at both national and county level and included various agricultural commodity value chains players such as associations in commodity trade, financial institutions, millers and processors and traders.
The regulations, said Mr Munya, will be published soon after validation to enable the WRS council to have a legal and regulatory framework to guide its activities.
Parliament passed the Warehouse Receipts Systems Act in June 2019, thereby setting out a legal framework for the development and governing of a WRS for the Country. The Warehouse Receipt System Act established the Warehouse Receipt System Council.
President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Jane Ngigi, former chief executive officer of the Kenya Flower Council as the first chairperson of the council with Mr Munya nominating Samuel Ogola, who previously served as head of Tea Directorate to act as the body’s chief executive officer.
Under the WRS, farmers will be required to deposit their maize in certified warehouses and get issued with receipts as they wait for the price to be in their favour before selling it at a later date.
This is a departure from a long standing tradition where the State would buy the commodity through the National Cereals and Produce Board.
One of the key interventions of the WRS will be to improve commodity storage, reduce average post-harvest losses, curb value chain inefficiencies, increase financial earnings to farmers, traders and service providers in the agricultural commodity trade.