Kenya reviewing guidelines on plant health and phytosanitary issues

Agriculture CS Peter Munya (left) & Murang'a County Agriculture CEC Albert Mwaniki who is also the Chairman of Agriculture CECs Caucus during the validation workshop of the Livestock Bill. Photo by Kilimo News
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Kenya is reviewing the Plant Protection Act, Cap 324, the guiding statute on plant health and phytosanitary issues enacted in 1937. Agriculture CS Peter Munya says this Act is old and has several limitations that include inadequate provisions on the prevention of introduction of plant pests; prevention of establishment, spread and management of pests; suppression of noxious and invasive weeds and plants; and export certification of plants, plant products and other regulated articles.

The CS was speaking in Nairobi during a workshop to discuss and validate the Draft Plant Protection Bill, 2021 and collect comments on the three draft Regulations that will operationalize the Bill once passed by Parliament.

In line with my Ministry’s role of formulating, implementing and monitoring agriculture policy, legislations and regulations, we identified the Plant Protection Act for review in order to strengthen the law to effectively deal with current and emerging plant health challenges in the country. The drafting of this Bill and regulations has evaluated the current phytosanitary system and identified the issues that hinder the implementation of an efficient plant health system. Therefore, these regulations will not only protect Kenya’s resources but will also create an effective framework to facilitate fair and safe competitive international trade,” said Munya.  

The CS added that once the draft Bill is enacted it will also enable Kenya to meet its international plant protection convention obligations. I am proud to note that, in addition to addressing the legal and regulatory framework, Kenya has put in place various initiatives to ensure that plant health and phytosanitary systems are strengthened including; equipping the plant health laboratories to strengthen diagnostics; embracing integrated pest management and systems approach to pest management,” opined the CS.

According to the CS, over the last few years, Kenya has experienced increasing pest threats incursions occasioned by the increased movement of plants, plant material and articles across its borders that harbour pests in addition to the effects of climate change among others. There is real and present threat of new pests affecting the country’s basic food security and major agricultural export.

Kenya and Africa as a whole is faced with pest incursions such as the Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND), fall armyworm, False Codling Moth, desert locust, the Golden Apple snail, Papaya Mealybug, Tuta absoluta and Cuscuta which are a threat to food security as well as threatening its horticultural exports.

“In the past few years, these pests have caused great crop losses leading to various interventions by governments including diverting resources that could have been used for other development programmes. The protection of plant health against new or foreign pests and the setting up of an effective system to safeguard against the establishment and spread of pests and diseases is central to safeguarding Kenya’s agriculture and export of agricultural produce,” said Munya.

Share your views about this story

Related stories

Subscribe to Kilimo News

Get the latest agriculture news in East Africa

Ethanol smuggler using maize arrested

Two traders have been intercepted while trying to smuggle 6200 litres of ethanol while  concealed  in  maize and  wheat bran bags. Stephen  Njuguna Kironji, owner of goods and Kenneth Karanja Kimaku who was the driver of a motor vehicle registration number KCG 865K. The driver was arrested on 13th June 2021 in Kinangop area along Nakuru Nairobi Highway and the owner was arrested at Mugumu Police Station where the vehicle was detained. The customs duty of the goods is  Kshs 2,571,924. The 30 drums of ethanol were concealed inside their Isuzu lorry using 46 bags of maize and 37 bags of wheat bran which were neatly arranged at the rear and side doors. Before their arrest, the two failed to produce importation documents, a licence or registration by KRA, and which are a requirement to import excisable goods such as ethanol. The suspects were charged with three counts relating to tax evasion on Tuesday 15th June 2021 before Engineers Law Court Resident Magistrate Hon Rawlings Musiega. They faced charges of; fraudulent evasion of payment of duty, importation of Excisable goods without a licence or being registered and that of conveying uncustomed goods. The charges are offences under various sections of the East African Community and Customs Management Act 2004, the Excise Duty Act No 23 of 2015 and Excise Duty (Excisable Goods Management System Regulations 2017. They denied the charges and were released on a bond of Kshs 300,000 and a surety or a cash bail of Ksh 150,000 each. In order to import excisable goods such as ethanol into Kenya, importers are required to pay customs duty for the

Read more »