Kenyans will be obliged to obtain licenses to process and sell nuts and oil crops, a step that is expected to have an impact on the sector, which has been harmed by brokers and cartels.
The Nuts and Oil Crops Development Bill 2023, which was introduced in Parliament, stated that Kenyans who deal with nuts such as coconut, crushed nuts, and macadamia will be needed to obtain a permission.
The bill defines nuts as coconut, cashew, macadamia, bambara, and crushed nuts. Sunflower, sesame, safflower, palm, and jojoba oils are examples of oils.
People caught engaging in the trade without the proper authorization face a Ksh1 million fine, two years in prison, or both.
“A person who intends to process nuts and oil products shall submit an application in the form prescribed in county legislation to county executive committee member,” according to a section of the bill.
Applicants must present all documentation and information requested by the county committee.
Once an application is submitted, the committee must consider it within 14 days and either grant or reject to renew or issue the license.
The committee’s judgment will be notified to the applicant in writing within seven days.
If the application is denied, the applicant will be informed of the reasons for the rejection.
Senator Hamida Kibwana’s bill seeks to reform the industry by enforcing policies and the institutional framework within which it functions.
The bill aims to encourage value addition in the processing of nuts and their products in order to recognize the medical, aesthetic, touristic, and artistic significance of diverse nuts and oil crops.
It also proposes the formation of the Nuts and Oil Crops Development Board to oversee the industry.