, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13- Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei has appointed an 11 member interim management committee that will oversee the transition of eight agricultural authorities to the new Agriculture Fisheries and Food Authority (AFFA).
The authorities to be dissolved include the Kenya Sugar Board, Coffee Board of Kenya, Pyrethrum Regulatory Authority, Coconut Development Authority, Horticultural Crops Development Authority, Tea Board of Kenya, Kenya Sisal Board and Cotton Development Authority.
“This will be a regulatory body that will manage about eight sub-sectors. And for this to be fast tracked, we as government decided to appoint this committee,” Koskei said.
He said the transition process which he expects to take one year will see the eight regulatory institutions replaced by new directorates, to be recruited competitively.
Each directorate will have an advisory committee of five members who will be elected by farmers.
The new Authority was formed under the Agriculture Fisheries and Foods Authority Act gazetted on January 17 this year, after its enactment one year ago.
“The 11-member team was later gazetted on February 28 and they were to start work immediately. We have agriculture economists, land economists; we have finance and asset management experts, we have audit and risk management experts, legal affairs experts and social scientists,” Koskei highlighted.
The team will be chaired by Hannah Murithi who is a former board chairperson of the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).
“The ‘magic’ she used to raise KeNHA from scratch to where it is now, is what we would want her to bring here at AFFA,” the CS said.
The inauguration of the new team comes even as the Agriculture Ministry continues to push for some amendments of the Act through an amendment Bill to include concerns raised by various stakeholders.
One of the amendments is to accommodate the devolution of agricultural functions to counties, an issue raised by Governors.
There were also concerned that the envisaged authority will be overwhelmed by many activities.
“I don’t think we will have this. But one of the major benefits is that we will save a lot of money when all these bodies merge,” Agriculture Principal Secretary Cecil Kariuki said.