THE government maintains that none of the 18 parastatals in the agriculture sector will be scrapped by impending enforcement of three new laws as widely feared.
The laws are Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority (AFFA) Act ,Crops Act and Kenya Agricultural Research and Livestock Act that were simultaneously signed by retired president Mwai Kibaki in January, this year.
Agriculture cabinet secretary Felix Koskei said the parastatals would instead be re-aligned and work under AFFA as a coordinating body to instill efficiency in the sector.
"The AFFA authority will oversee operations of all existing directorates. All the current statutory bodies will be directors of the AFFA," he said. "It's only a matter of trying to ensure they are managed in a way that delivers to the people."
He also dismissed concerns of possible costly six-month precautionary bans in export markets following failure to issue a 60-day notice as required by the World Trade Organisation.
Agricultural value chain players under Agricultural Industry Network warned on Monday that implementing the AFFA Act in its current form could cost the country an estimated Sh200 billion a year in export earnings due to the temporary bans.
"This could open room for protracted trade disputes that will hurt the growth of Kenya's key agricultural export sectors," AIN chairman Edward Mudibo said. "This could open room for protracted trade disputes that will hurt the growth of Kenya's key agricultural export sectors," he said. Koskei however said that trade laws governing exports remained intact and there should be no cause for alarm.