You might not be able to enjoy your favorite roadside delicacy 'Chips Mwitu' (chips at the roadside) after the government launched a crackdown to apprehend unregistered dealers of Irish potatoes.
According to a notice by the Nairobi county and the Ministry of Agriculture, any dealer of the said crop whether they are the transporter, trader, warehouse, collection center, importer, or exporter who is not registered will either pay a fine of Sh5 million or 3 years imprisonment or both.
Those found processing the crop without a license will be fined Sh10 million or face 5 years imprisonment or both.
Anyone found with the offense of obstructing a crops inspector will be charged a fine of Sh2 million or 3 years imprisonment or both.
For unregistered growers, improper packaging, storage, and grading will be fined Sh500,000 or 1-year imprisonment or both.
"The Irish potato regulations were gazetted on December 2019 and thus became law. In this regard, there will be a sensitization exercise on June 8, 2021, and thereafter enforcement will start immediately. Be notified therefore that anyone who contravenes the law will be arrested and arraigned in court," read part of the notice.
According to the gazette notice persons or entities handling Irish potatoes this includes; processors, marketing agents, dealers, collection centers and warehouse or stores must register with the county government in which they operate from.
Upon registration, the County Government shall issue the applicant with a certificate of registration. The gazette notice also states that the selling and buying of Irish potatoes for home consumption may be done through a collection center, medium or designated market.
"The purpose of these Regulations is to guide the promotion, development, and regulation of production and trade of Irish potatoes. The regulations shall apply with respect to Irish potatoes produced and marketed in Kenya and imported or exported into and out of Kenya," read part of the gazette notice.