The KEPSA Agriculture Sector Board met on 22nd November 2016 at KEPSA offices to review and make contributions to the Warehouse Receipt System Bill (National Assembly Bill no. 12 of 2015) in preparation for the Public hearing on the bill. The Bill had been passed by the National Assembly with amendments on 31st August, 2016. The Bill as amended had been forwarded to the Senate for consideration since agriculture is a devolved function.
The Warehouse Receipt Bill seeks to address loss and wastage of food harvest that sell at low prices due to oversupply occasioned by lack of proper storage facilities. The bill also creates a legal framework on how farmers can access the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), the obligations and rights of farmers. It seeks to create certified, licenced and registered warehouse keepers.
The warehouse receipt mechanism will operate in a similar manner as a negotiable instrument enabling farmers to transfer proprietary and ownership rights of commodities stored in the warehouse. The bill will also facilitate private investors to put up warehouses that supplement those of the National Cereals and Produce Board.
If enacted, the bill will revolutionise the agriculture sector in Kenya by providing warehouse commodity as collateral for loans thus improving access to finance by farmers. Members attended the Senate Public Hearing on the Bill held on 23rd November, 2016 and made submissions.