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Potato farmers in Laikipia call for sensitization on laws

Government will not interfere with the setting of potato prices

Potato farmers in Laikipia County are calling on the government to do more sensitization exercises to enlighten them more about the new potato laws that were recently passed.

The Irish Potato Regulations were gazetted on December 2019 and thus became law. The sensitization exercises were to start on June 8, 2021, but Laikipia farmers say that they are yet to receive the enlightenment.

Many farmers have not been well sensitized about joining the growers’ Associations and the application process requires to register with the County Government.

“We heard on the news that the law had been passed and that sensitization efforts would begin but we have waited to no avail and no community civic education efforts have reached our communities,” said Mary Wairimu, a farmer from Losogwa, Igwamiti Ward.

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James Kariuki, a farmer from Karuga, Igwamiti Ward, said the lack of further information from the government has left them with a lot of uncertainties because there have been no forums for discussion.

“We need to understand the importance of these Associations and as farmers we only see this as an avenue for more taxation in future and this is causing anxiety among us. We see it as a future measure to prohibit peasant farmers from expanding their production in future and this will affect our food security, so more sensitization should be done,” he added.

The potato growers’ law does not apply to peasant farmers but they are concerned that it may be prohibitive to them when they decide to expand their production.

The regulations shall apply with respect to Irish potatoes produced and marketed in Kenya and imported or exported into and out of Kenya, reads part of the gazette notice.

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