Policy, Lobby and Advocacy Department
This is a key department in helping NPCK achieve its major objective of transforming potato subsector into a robust, competitive and self-regulating industry. Over the past years the department has acted as a mouth piece for potato industry through continuously engaging relevant government agencies in steering development, review, enforcement and implementation of policies, regulations and standards that stimulates growth in potato industry. The department uses all appropriate lobby and advocacy tools, including: media, meetings, workshops, face-to-face visits, video, correspondence, and electronic communication to identify issues in the industry and solution search. The department also identifies and creates partnership with relevant institutions and influential persons who are key in creating an enabling environment for business to thrive in the industry. Among some of NPCK initiatives and achievements in this respect include:
Developemnt and implementation of Irish Potato regulations
NPCK has been on the front lead in lobbying for development and implementation of Irish potato regulations. The regulation seeks to address the challenges that are facing production, handling, packaging and marketing of potato in the country. Specifically, the purpose of regulations includes: guiding packaging and marketing of Irish potatoes; establish and enforce units of measurements to ensure health and proper trading of Irish potatoes; promotion of best practices in production, transportation and storage of food crops; Quality assurance and marketing of Irish potatoes; provide procedures and conditions for registration of Irish potato growers, grower associations and dealers; procedures and conditions for licensing of processors, warehouses, warehouse operators, importers and exporters of Irish potatoes and provide such other purposes as may be necessary for effecting the provision of the Crops Act
The regulations are anchored in both Agriculture Food Authority (AFA) and Crops Act and are also in line with the international labour law. AFA working with Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, the County governments and NPCK; followed the due processes for development and review of draft regulations that were developed by AFA. The processes included; Public consultations with farmers, aggregators, transporters, traders, market superintendents and the county ministry of agriculture officials, at major potato producing Counties and major consuming counties and Potato regulations stakeholders’ validation workshop. The technical team working on the regulations also engaged the parliamentary committee on delegated legislation. Upon gazettement and implementation of these regulations; the farmers’ incomes will be increased and the quality of marketed potatoes will be improved hence acting as import substitution of potato processed products while ensuring adherence to the international standards on maximum human weight handling. Currently, Agricultural Council of Kenya in partnership with NPCK and AFA is working with 6 counties with an aim to foster implementation of the Crops (Irish Potatoes) regulations, 2019.
National and County Potato Strategies
The NPCK working together with Key Stakeholders successively developed the National Potato strategy (2016-2020) which is aligned to Vision 2030 and Agriculture Sector Development Strategy (ASDS 2010-2020). The strategy was developed to address the growth and development of potato sub-sector into a self-regulating and competitive industry through implementation of the following seven strategic objectives;
- Strengthen institutional, legal and regulatory framework
- Promote variety development and seed production
- Enhance research in the potato industry
- Increased potato production
- Improve post-harvest handling, value addition and marketing
- Promote Public-Private partnerships in the potato industry development
- Improve funding to the potato industry
NPCK in collaboration with the County governments and key partners have also worked together to develop County potato strategies. The strategies are aligned with the National Potato Strategy, Medium Term Plans and County Integrated Development Plans. The objective is to provide roadmaps in addressing specific challenges facing the County potato value chains. The Nyandarua County potato strategy was successively developed and launched on 3rd March 2017 and implementation is on-going. Currently, development of County Potato strategies for Nakuru, Bungoma, Nyeri and Elgeyo Marakwet is in progress. Others strategies in the pipeline include that for Bomet, Trans Nzoia, Narok and Meru.
Private accreditation of seed certification
KEPHIS working with seed stakeholders who include members of Seed Traders Association of Kenya and NPCK successively developed the authorizations guidelines on seed certification. The objective of the guidelines is to complement SERVICE (KEPHIS) to enhance efficiency in seed certification process and to create enabling environment attractive for private sector investment in seed production and distribution. KEPHIS has a responsibility of conducting training and gazettement of private inspectors. Potato industry is working hard to ensure there are adequate trained inspectors for seed potato certification.
Development of 3 years (2018-2020) seed potato action plan. The action plan is crucial in guiding improvement of production and distribution of seed potato while addressing challenges facing seed potato value chain. More importantly, it provides guidance on the adoption of new technologies for seed potato production in addressing the recurrent seed potato shortage especially for public varieties which are in high demand.