Meru County Commissioner Karuku Ngumo has warned traders against flouting the new Irish potatoes regulation Act 2019.
Ngumo pointed out that both County and the National Government legislations were important hence the need to respect all of them.
“My office is charged with ensuring that laws are enforced to protect common mwananchi,” he said, while calling on potato farmers to support the government as it makes sure the law is implemented.
He condemned the traders defying against the implementation of the Potato Regulation Act 2019, which provides that potatoes should be packaged in not more than 50kgs bags.
The administrator pointed out that security personnel have mounted a crackdown in all regions within the County that produce potatoes.
He said that his office has received some information that unscrupulous traders are still buying and packing potatoes with extended bags which contravenes the law.
“We have dispatched our officers to several points to ensure they check on carts and trucks carrying potatoes to various markets are packaged in 50 kilograms bags,” he said, adding that those flouting the law will face the law.
Ngumo noted that potato farmers have a key law in ensuring implementation of the new potato law succeeds.
He pointed out that by all farmers embracing packaging their potatoes in a 50 kilo bag, traders will have no option but to buy.
The county commissioner cautioned farmers against being blackmailed by unscrupulous traders that they shall have no market for their produce.
“By implementation of the law, the government wants to weed out brokers so that farmers can get better returns for their produce unlike previously where cartels controlled the market,” he said.
He revealed that the new law has helped weed out brokers that have been exploiting potato farmers.
Ngumo called on potato farmers to form groups which will ensure they produce quality and large quantities of potatoes.
“When you organise yourselves in groups you are able to get better bargaining power for your produce hence boosting your returns.’’ he said.
Gitonga Marete, an Irish potato farmer said if the law is properly implemented it will be a major boost to farmers.
Marete noted that an extended 90kg bag a farmer is selling at Sh2,800 which is a big loss when you consider the cost of inputs used to grow the crop.
By Muguongo Judy