Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka in his capacity as the Chair, Agriculture Committee, Council of Governors today submitted the legislative memorandum on the National Assembly 2022 Sugar Bill to the Senate for consideration.
In the submissions presented before the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries chaired by Kirinyaga Senator, James Murango, COG seeks a review in the National Assembly Sugar Bill to incorporate the devolved functions of County Governments on Agriculture, trade and infrastructure.
COG opines that, the National Assembly Sugar amended Bill did not factor in, the coordinated action and approach in the revitalization of the ailing sugar industry between the National, County Governments and other stakeholders for the benefit of the sugar cane farmers, and therefore, should be reviewed further.
The following proposed amendments were recommended for Senate review;
- Interpretation on License to align to the provisions of the Bill. The County Governments are supposed to license millers while the Board licenses importers and exporters.
- The Sugar Board to register and license sugar and jaggery mills, exporters, importers and dealers and oversee policies, plans and programs of work for the development of the industry.
- The County Governments to issue sugar cane nursery certificates, register and license sugar and jaggery mills, warehouses and other dealers except importers and exporters in the County, formulate and implement the County sugar sub sector strategic plan among others.
- Licensing and Registration. A person shall not operate a sugar mill or jaggery mill unless he or she is a holder of a current license issued by the respective County Government.
- Respective County Executive Committee Members to issue licenses for sugar mill, warehouse or a jaggery mill as prescribed, among other recommendations.
In his own sentiment, Lusaka noted; “The centrality of devolution in the Agriculture sector is something that cannot be wished for in the revitalization of the sugar industry. It should be emphasized in the Sugar Bill, 2022.”