The County Assembly of Busia today passed the Busia County Crop Agriculture Bill, 2021, paving the way for the Governor, H.E Sospeter Ojaamong to assent it into law.
The Bill seeks to provide a comprehensive, harmonized, efficient and effective legal and regulatory framework for development and regulation of Crop Agriculture in the county.
It will also ensure that all County Government agencies, public servants and bodies charged with development and regulation of agriculture shall at all times have due regard to and observe the overriding objective of the Act.
The Report of the Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources underwent the first and second reading on Wednesday where members got an opportunity to debate on the report.
The committtee amended Clause 25 (3) of the Bill to provide that licenses are issued as per the calendar year and not as per the financial year.
The committee also amended Part IV, Clause 21 of the Bill to provide a lesser penalty because those who deal in crops are mostly peasant farmers, and imposing a large fine as that contemplated at Clause 21(2) is unfair to them.
Those who contributed including Minority Leader Felix Omanyi (Bunyala Central), Linus Asiba (Matayo South) and Job Oteba (Angurai East and Committee vice chair) said the bill will incorporate all activities relating to or connected with crop farming, husbandry, trade or marketing.
The Bill once assented by the Governor will lead to the establishment of the Directorate in the department to be known as the Agricultural Crops Development Directorate.
The Directorate shall consist of Director of Agriculture and such other staff as may be appointed by the County Public Service Board for purposes of implementation of the objective of this Act.
The Bill underwent third reading today before the committee of the whole house. It will now be taken to the Governor for assent.