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Government plans to ban food hawking and use of manure in farms.

The Ministry of Agriculture plans to table a bill in Parliament that will bar farmers from buying or selling to unregistered dealers (brokers) with any farmer breaching this rule liable for a Sh10 million fine or be imprisoned for five years or both.

It will also be illegal to use raw animal manure to produce food crops if the Crops (Food Crops) Regulations draft Bill is passed into law.

It will also be illegal for any farmer to sell their produce away from those markets designated by county governments. They will also be barred from using fertiliser that is not on the list recommended by the county government.

“A grower shall not use raw animal manure for the production of food crops... next to sewage sites or locations with heavy metal contamination,” states 87-page document.

The bill, which is to be checked and fine-tuned by the Attorney-General, creates the position of a crop inspector who will have powers to enter any farm and search premises.

Any farmer who stops the inspector from assessing their land will be liable for imprisonment of three years or be fined Sh3 million.

The Food Authority (AFA) will be allow to randomly sample and test food crops in stores, warehouses, depots or processors. It can also destroy food products that do not conform to safety standards.

Farmers would be required to maintain records of their activities to be produced on demand.

Among the crops to be regulated are maize, barley, millet, wheat, oat, rye, triticale, grain amaranth, soya bean, pea, bean, sweet potato and cassava. The rules also affect tea and coffee.

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