By George Munene
The Crops (miraa) Regulations Act, 2021 will demand that farmers looking to operate a commercial miraa (khat) nursery obtain an annual license from their county government.
The license will be issued within five working days if the farmer has complied with Regulations and Miraa (Khat) industry- Code of Practice.
These include supplying quality planting material and keeping accurate records of distributed planting materials.
The nursery operator will also be required to submit annual commercial nursery returns to their county government.
Smallholder farmers are encouraged to register with a growers’ association to access economies of scale. The association should be registered under the Agriculture and Food Authority.
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A miraa dealer entering into a contract with a miraa grower or grower association will need to register the contract with the County Government and submit a copy to the Authority. They’ll need to indicate the price payable to the grower and pay them for the Miraa delivered within seven days.
Miraa exporters will be registered in 30 days upon payment of Sh20,000 for an exporter’s license and Sh2,000 for an exporter’s permit. Importers will pay Sh30,000 and Sh5,000. An annual renewal fee of Sh10,000 will be charged for export and Sh15,000 for import.
Commercial miraa transporters and aggregators (a person who buys, collects, or sells miraa and miraa products to retailers and or exporters) will also be required to register with the Authority.
Anyone contravening this will be liable to three years imprisonment, a five million shillings fine, or both.
The packaged weight of miraa will not be allowed to exceed fifty kilograms.
Miraa vendors will also be required to register with their county government and sell miraa at designated points.
The Agriculture and Food Authority in consultation with the County Executive Committee Member will initiate and coordinate training programmes for service providers, growers and dealers to enable them implement these regulations.
The body will also hire inspectors and the county governments shall nominate county inspectors to carry out inspections of miraa produce and products to ensure they conform to these regulations, national, regional, and international standards.
The Crops (miraa) Regulations Act, 2021 also provides for the formation of a miraa pricing formula committee that will be appointed by the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary.
For the full report: THE CROPS (MIRAA) REGULATIONS, 2021