Pyrethrum Regulations - Agriculture Industry Network (AIN) and Pyrethrum Growers of Association (PGA)

Pyrethrum farmers are the most affected by the lack of a conducive regulatory framework for pyrethrum. Pyrethrum processors, nurseries, and all other value chain actors are affected as well. According to Pyrethrum Growers of Association (PGA), in the mid-1990s, there were an estimated 220,000 pyrethrum farmers producing over 120,000 tonnes a year. Currently, Pyrethrum Growers Association (PGA) estimates that there are an estimated 30,000 pyrethrum farmers in Kenya. Kenya produced 90% (over 6,000 tonnes) of the world's pyrethrum in 1998 (KAPI). However, the sector has seen a rapid decline with KNBS reporting pyrethrum sales to marketing boards at 3.7 tonnes in 2015. In addition, the gross marketed production at market prices has declined from KShs. 131.8 million in 2007 to KShs. 42.3 million in 2013 this according to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract 2014.

In 2007, PGA to lobbied for the amendment of the Pyrethrum Act Cap 340. PGA was successful in its advocacy and the amended Act was enacted in December 2012. Consequently, it was promulgated on 31st January 2013 by President Kibaki. The new Act was seen as a major step towards realising a liberalised pyrethrum agricultural sub-sector; thereby providing for players (other than the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya (PBK)) to enter the sub-sector as pyrethrum flower buyers and pyrethrum oil extractors thus ending the PBK monopoly.

Notwithstanding PGA’s legislature success, the President also signed into law the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) Act and the Crops Act 2013 on the same day as the Pyrethrum Act 2013. There are glaring contradictions between the three Acts. Under these new laws, the Pyrethrum Act will still govern the sub sector but will be legislated through the Crops Act, under a Pyrethrum Directorate.

PGA engaged with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Development (MoALF&LD), and AFA on the proposed Pyrethrum Directorate Rules and Regulations, 2013. PGA prepared a policy proposal, and engaged the MoALF, the Pyrethrum Directorate, and Governors from 18 pyrethrum growing counties on the proposed regulations.

The presentations made by PGA were not taken into consideration. The Pyrethrum Directorate has now drafted revised Pyrethrum Regulations, 2015. However, PGA has additional issues that they argue need to be resolved prior to the gazetting of the proposed regulations.

These include:  

  • The requirement for processors to have 1,000 acres of pyrethrum as a condition for licensing restricts entry into the market for farmers and MSEs in the sector.
  • The requirement for nursery operators are restrictive with requirements included being a certificate of good conduct, and an Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission clearance certificate. PGA argues that this is a violation of human and economic rights as it gives the government the discretion to determine economic participation.
  • The introduction of a dealer’s certificate and an import/export licence introduces a new category of players in the sector. PGA argue that processors can handle importation and exportation without having a separate player in the market. In addition, a dealer’s licence would introduce brokers into the market place and open avenues for market distortion.
  • The Pyrethrum Regulations, 2015 have not been subjected to a Regulatory Impact Assessment, a requirement of the Statutory Instruments Act, 2013 prior to the gazetting of subsidiary laws.

The Competition Authority of Kenya in a report titled - dismantling regulatory obstacles to competition made the following proposals towards the improvement of the proposed Pyrethrum Regulations:The regulations need to provide clear requirements and transparent procedures for granting licenses and participation in the pyrethrum value chain (PGA argues there should be no need for licensing).

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