Nairobi - Experts and stakeholders met to review the Plant Protection Bill 2020, whose main aim is to enhance plant health operations in the country. The Plant Protection Act, which dates back to 1937 and was last reviewed in 1972, aims to align plant health regulations to be in tandem with current business and social environments.
The Plant Protection bill is being reviewed to better manage importation and exports of plants and plant materials for safe trade facilitation at the domestic and the international markets. The bill and regulations address such areas as the issuance of phytosanitary certificates, Plant Import Permits (PIPs), quarantine facilities, the duty of land owners in the management of plant pests on their land and farms and the role of county governments on managing pests and diseases.
Other issues being addressed include the use of pesticides, nursery certification, changing International Standards of Phytosanitary Measures(ISPMs) regulations such as machinery and equipment used for construction as well as imported vehicles, the growing trend of consumption of organic food, competencies that can provide plant health services, fees, charges and penalties.
The stakeholder consultations enable the gathering of various expert views and input for a comprehensive and progressive plant health regime in Kenya. It is envisioned that it will open further opportunities in the trade of plants and plant products while protecting the current businesses.
Speaking during the event, KEPHIS Ag. MD Simeon Kibet informed the experts that the draft Bill is a good document but needed to be enhanced so as to be used by the industry. "The Bill really aims at facilitating an enabling business environment for stakeholders," he said.
"Also, we now have county governments whereas there was only the national government before so the document needs to capture the role of counties comprehensively; more importantly is that the document will capture emerging trends to make it practical and relevant."
Above and top: Experts meeting to review the Plant Protection Bill 2020, whose main aim is to enhance plant health operations in the country. The Plant Protection Act, which dates back to 1937 and was last reviewed in 1972, targets to align plant health regulations to be in tandem with current business and social environments.