Nyandarua, Nakuru, Narok, Elgeyo Marakwet, Uasin Gishu, Meru and West Pokot counties are implementing the potato regulations in conjunction with the State Department for Crop Development, Agriculture and Food Authority, National Potato Council of Kenya and the Agricultural Council of Kenya.
A crackdown is currently going on targeting traders and transporters violating the 50-kilogramme rule in the packaging of Irish potatoes as outlined in the new regulations. The regulations banned packaging of potatoes in extended bags and approved the 50 kilogramme bag.
AFA director-general Kello Harsama says they want to ensure packaging in the required standard of 50Kg is adhered to and that enforcement will be implemented in the entire value chain from the farm to the markets. This will be extended to 10 other potato-growing counties.
The Director General says having sensitized stakeholders on the regulations, they expect value chain players to comply with the guidelines adding that inspectors have been recruited and duly briefed ahead of the crackdown. They will be supported by law enforcement agencies from the national and county governments.
In Nyandarua, Benson Kinyanjui Wairimu was charged virtually and fined KShs. 120,000 for flouting the 50 kilograms potato-packaging regulations. The trader was arrested in Kipipiri, carrying several bags of the produce, weighing over 50 kilograms in a Mitsubishi FH KBL 332S. He was transferred to Naivasha GK Prison, awaiting payment of the fine or serving a one-year sentence. The court ordered the release of the vehicle to the owner.