The Ministry of Livestock is developing a Livestock Bill aimed at organizing the sector as a way of guaranteeing food security in the country.
The team involved in the bill preparation process that has taken one year is now expected to compile their findings and make recommendations before presenting it to Parliament on January 31, 2020 for amendments.
The Director Livestock Policy Research and Regulations, Dr. Christopher Wanga said the bill will have far reaching effects to ensure the entire country benefits, once it becomes law after the 31st of January when the team finally hands over its report.
Speaking in Mombasa on Thursday, while engaging stakeholders and county governments in the eight counties of the coastal region and their neighbours Makueni and Machakos, the director observed that the team involved all the necessary stakeholders for their views for the bill to address the needs, including all value chain actors.
He said the government is proposing to establish a board to coordinate all aspects of livestock marketing to address marketing challenges faced by livestock farmers in the country.
The bill also proposes a regulatory board for inputs, animal feed and products quality like honey and other animal products that have had no regulators before.
The bill further seeks to incorporate existing institutions that are not in substantive law like the Kenya animal generating resource centre, the Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute (KVVPI) and the Kenya Tsetse and Trypanasomiasis Eradication Council which only exist in legal notices.
“We intend to upgrade the institutions into substantive law so that they are able to carry out their mandate better as compared to the current status,” said Dr. Wanga, adding that seven bills have been merged into one to save time and ease of processes and coordination.
In the proposed bill, the Kenya school for animal sciences will combine all the training institutions within the livestock industry, including the dairy training institute, the animal health and industry training institute and the meat training institute.
The Director said for the first time the institutions will be established into law and offer qualifications that can be recognized beyond the country.
Meanwhile, the Livestock Bill 2018 which is currently undergoing public participation proposes a raft of measures to reposition the sector as a key player in the economy and to boost food security.
Among the key proposals is regulation of breeders and animal feeds producers to stem malpractices which are to blame for the low production.
The Livestock Production Assistant Director, Josephine Kamau said the Bill proposes registration of animal feeds producers to put in place checks and balances on the quality of their products to ensure that they meet the set standards.
The feed production sector, she said, was flooded by unscrupulous traders leading to an influx of counterfeit and substandard feeds.
All livestock breeders in the country, she said, shall also be registered and their activities monitored to ensure that they produce high quality breeds.
“We want to have a proper record so that we can trace these people and look at the kind of services they are providing,” she said.
Speaking in Kisumu on Wednesday, during a sensitization meeting with County Executive Committee (CEC) Members- In- Charge of Agriculture from Western and Nyanza regions, Kamau disclosed that through the Bill, a Livestock Marketing Board shall also be established.
The Board, she said shall be tasked with the responsibility of marketing livestock and livestock products locally and Internationaly.
This, she said, is set to put Kenya’s livestock products on the world map and turn around the fortunes of farmers.
Kamau added that the Bill further proposes establishment of a Kenya Animal Sciences School to bring together all institutions dealing with livestock and animal production training.
The School will offer training to farmers at the same time conduct research on various issues within the sector.
Through the Bill, she said, all existing Boards and Institutions within the Ministry of Agriculture shall be expanded and strengthened to ensure that they deliver on their mandate.
The County CECM’s for Agriculture Caucus Chairperson, Mary Nzomo, said the Bill will come in handy for devolved governments since it will offer a legal framework for them to execute their mandate.
“As you are aware Agriculture is a devolved function but as CECs we are not able to legislate because we don’t have the tools,” she said.
She attributed the scenario to lack of legislation since the law in place was in existence before the establishment of county governments. Nzomo called for collaboration between the two levels of government to ensure that the sector is revived.
The KNA Team