An agricultural and Livestock Food Authority, whose mandate will be to coordinate all the ten agro-sector ministries’ activities, will be formed after four agricultural bills have been enacted by parliament in line with the new constitution.
This was among the raft of recommendations that were passed over the weekend at a Retreat for the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives held at Leisure Lodge Resort, South Coast.
The retreat was organized by ASCU to brief the committee, chaired by Hon. John Mututho, who was present, on the progress made on the consolidation of Agricultural Sector Legislation. The committee was further taken through the Consolidation Bills, and further received valuable inputs and guidance on the way forward the sector under the new constitutional dispensation.
Members were taken through draft Agriculture, Livestock, Crops, Fisheries and the Kenya Agricultural Research Systems Bills.The chair of the committee, Hon Mututho announced that a technical Secretariat has been formed to finalize the documents and Bills, ready to be submitted to the Cabinet by January next year.
It was further resolved that the agro-sector ministries should be consolidated into three, to pave way for the formation of the Agriculture and Livestock Authority in future.
“We expect that these Bills will have been passed by parliament by April, 2012 so that they could be implemented before the next general elections’’, declared Mr. Mututho.
He however, added, some of the Bills will need more work and refining by the Ministries in conjunction with the Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives Committee in the agriculture sector, that is, Legislature reforms.
In he opening remarks, Agriculture Minister Dr. Sally Kosgei said the sector was currently regulated by 131 pieces of legislations, most of which are outdated, no longer responsive to the needs of the dynamic sector and major impediment to economic growth.
He added that associated with the impediments the legislations caused are the absence of strong rules to foster competition in the sector; the existence of many parastatals that play multiple, overlapping and at times contradictory functions; and a restrictive regulatory environment that hinders or discourages private sector investment.
Members of the Technical Working Group include ASCU, All Directors of the three line ministries, Law Reform Commission, Parliament Legal Office, Attorney General Office, and Consultants. The above committees were given up to January 20th 2012 to submit the draft to the Ministers including the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives.
In February, it is expected that the Bills will be presented to the cabinet, and in March parliament will have to debate and pass them.
Sessional chairmen included Livestock Development Minister, Dr. Mohammed Kuti, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr. Romano Kiome, among others.