What the Kenya, UK trade deal means for  small scale farmers

the Kenya, UK trade deal mkulimatoday.com

Mkulima today finished agricultural products imports from the United Kingdom will attract a 25 percent duty under the new post-Brexit Kenya UK trade deal.

A section of small-scale farmers and advocacy groups went to court to challenge the implementation of Kenya – United Kingdom economic Partnership Agreement citing a lack of public participation.

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This is after the document was submitted to parliament for ratification and implementation.

The Kenya, UK trade deal

Members of parliament from Kenya also took issue with a clause in the economic partnership agreement (EPA) that bars parliament from amending or expressing reservations on the pact.

At a meeting with various stakeholders and the ministry of trade and industrialization officials, the members of parliament said the pact erodes the sovereignty of the country as a result of the clause in the EPA. As a result, they demand that they be given an option to amend the document or express their reservations.

In order to gain support from the members of parliament and the general public, the government released some information with the aim of boosting confidence and ensure the EPA is ratified.

Since the parliament has already approved the EPA here are some of the items that helped them be at ease and agree to pass the document for implementation.

The Kenyan government plans to tax agricultural goods from the United Kingdom in order to support the local small-scale farmers in the country. The agreement to take effect needs to be ratified by both parliaments in Nairobi and London.

This comes as the government tries and moves to protect farmers from unfair competition that comes from cheap European produce imported into the country.

Several high-level dignitaries and officials have been visiting the country from both the European Union and the United Kingdom. Their visits have mainly been to the statehouse to meet the president and relevant Kenyan officials to sign trade deals and come up with better deals after the United Kingdom left the European Union through Brexit.

Kenya has hosted the president of the European Council, the ministers of defense, and foreign affairs from the United Kingdom. All these talks are aimed at having a post-Brexit trade deal with Kenya both by the EU and the UK.

Each team is looking forward to Kenya, UK trade deal since it sets a tone for post-Brexit trade talks for the EU, the UK, and Kenya trade relations.

This comes at a time when London is looking for new business partners and long-term deals after their exit from the European Union.

The trade principal secretary, PS Johnson Weru said the government has listed over 1000 items from the United Kingdom that will attract duty when imported. This leads to allaying fears that the economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the United Kingdom will affect small-scale farmers who cannot compete with foreign imports.

All the listed items will attract a 25 percent import duty upon hitting the Kenyan ports and transit points into the country.

The PS however said importation of raw materials such as sugar beet for processing in the country will not attract the 25 percent duty charge. This was an issue that was raised by millers saying the importation of the item would lead to negative effects on small-scale farmers.

Rai Group one of the leading manufactures in the country in an oil refinery, sugar milling, and cement manufacturing raised their concern through their chairman Mr. Jaswant Rai.

Mr. Rai said sugar cane farmers cannot compete with the cheap sugar beet importation.

Currently, the United Kingdom is the leading global producer of sugar beet and one of the items on the list to be imported to Kenya.

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