Kipipiri Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Edwin Chabari, has warned traders packaging potatoes in bags of over 50 kilograms that they shall be arrested and prosecuted.
Speaking in Kipipiri the DCC said that the County Government passed a law that all potatoes that are to be sold are supposed to be packaged in 50kgs bags.
“Currently, it is unfortunate that if you walk around the farms, you will find some people packaging potatoes even in bags of above 100kgs,” he noted.
He added that he has assembled a team that shall sensitize farmers on the standardized potato packaging.
“From next week, there will a team that will come here at the grassroots to teach farmers about that law. After that one week has elapsed, whoever will be found contravening that regulation shall be arrested and arraigned in court.
“That is one way of helping our farmers and protecting them from exploitation by middlemen,” Chabari said.
Traders were required to adhere to the regulations on packaging from April 2nd, this year when the law was to take effect.
In 2014 a directive by the Agriculture Food Authority (AFA) instructed that potatoes only be packaged in bags not exceeding 50kg.
Section 42 of the Agriculture Fisheries and Food Authority Act, 2013, makes it illegal to package potatoes in bags of over 50 kilograms.
The standardization issues started long before the creation of the AFA with by-laws that were adopted by the cities, municipalities and townships through the Legal Notice No. 113 of 2008, following 2005 notice on the standardization Policy that set a Sh2, 000 as fine or a term not exceeding six months imprisonment.
Offenders of the new regulations on conviction are liable to a fine not exceeding Sh500, 000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both.
By Anthony Mwangi