Open up pyrethrum sector, plead farmers
Posted Tuesday, July 24 2012 at 22:08
Pyrethrum farmers are now asking the government to allow new investors to enter into the sector before the enactment of the Pyrethrum Bill 2011.
Reading some of the resolutions, Nyandarua County Pyrethrum Growers Association (PGA) member Naphtali Mureithi said if allowed, the move will revitalise the market and lead to competitiveness in the cash crop fetching good market prices.
They said that liberalisation was crucial for the revival of pyrethrum farming and supported the Pyrethrum Bill but proposed some changes. The group called for restructuring of the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya to include a regulatory authority and commercial entity owned by farmers.
Mr Mureithi said the work of such an authority would be supervisory and would also include licensing to produce and market pyrethrum to world class standards,
Its mandate would also include being the custodian of all registration labels necessary for the marketing of pyrethrum currently held by the PBK.“This will compensate farmers for the immense cost of all the scientific and regulatory data on pyrethrum for the past five years,” Mr Mureithi said.
The group lauded the government effort to clear arrears owed to farmers by releasing Sh350 million, saying, the move would help jump-start pyrethrum farming in the country.
Another PGA official Justus Monda said the recent clauses requiring farmers to own more than 2,000 acres of pyrethrum to be allowed to sell to private processors was unrealistic and in bad taste.