Meru Irish Potato Cooperative Union has decried what it says is poor implementation of the new packaging laws, plunging farmers into losses.
The Crops (Irish Potato) Regulations 2019 restricted packaging of potatoes to a 50kg bag. It also stipulates that potatoes should be sold in kilos.
According to the Meru union’s chairman Chris Marete, despite farmers adhering to the law from August, some unscrupulous traders are still sneaking in the banned extended bags into markets in Meru town.
He blamed the continued use of extended bags in the markets to weak enforcement of the set rules by the county government.
“We gave our all in obeying the 50kg rule and helped in cracking down on transporters breaking the law, but the extended bags are back. Enforcement officers are taking bribes and turning a blind eye to the law breakers. This vice is common in Kithaku, Nkuene and Kiirua,” Mr Marete said.
Kibirichia MCA Elijah Kirimi called for the harmonisation of all county departments dealing with enforcement of the 50kg rule to end the use of extended bags.
“We cannot understand how an extended bag makes its way to the market yet there are revenue officers there and several cess barriers on the way. We want the various departments to coordinate well and ensure extended bags are eradicated,” Mr Kirimi said.
Meru Trade Executive Maingi Mugambi said all traders dealing in potatoes will be registered to ensure 100 percent compliance with the law.
His Agriculture counterpart Carol Mutiga said the county government is in the process of gazetting agricultural inspectors who will help in enforcing the 50kg rule.