Agriculture CS Peter Munya has told the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to keep off the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE).
CMA has been in a tussle with the Coffee Directorate in the Ministry over who is supposed to issue a license to the exchange. Munya argued that stocks are a different asset class from agricultural commodities as agricultural commodities are physical and stocks are not.
“The fact that the coffee exchange is called an exchange doesn’t mean it is an exchange. It is actually an auction. So there is nowhere in the law where CMA has been given the mandate to license auctions. Then they should license Wakulima market as an auction and livestock markets since farmers auction their livestock there. Is there any difference? I think they are overreaching their mandate. Let them concentrate on stock markets and Capital markets,” says the CS.
Munya wonders why the CMA has failed to reign in Cytonn which has issues with investors’ money yet they want to be involved in coffee markets. “Investors have lost money in real estate and CMA said Cytonn is not under their regulation. Why don’t you expand your regulatory reach so that you regulate those also? Why are you interested in coffee? If you go to coffee will you go to tea as there is no difference between tea and coffee? Then you need to regulate tea, coffee, pyrethrum and also regulate horticulture as they are all agricultural commodities,” opines Munya.
The CS asked CMA to leave agriculture regulatory issues to the experts who have been doing it even as the laws are reviewed to make it better.