The Kenya Investment Authority, Kenya Flower Council and other regulating agencies held a second meeting on January 21, 2013 at Serena Hotel to address flower industry coordination and regulation under the devolved system of government. The agenda was to harmonize and rationalize the licenses, permits and levies, address the proposed new taxes by the devolved government and fast tracking on the finalization of the EAC-EU EPA negotiations. The meeting was steered by Dr. Moses Ikiara, Managing Director, Ken Invest.
The members discussed a list of current licenses/taxes and levies check any related best practices applied in the world that can be borrowed to enhance the sector’s competitiveness.
It was confirmed that WARMA charges 3 licenses (Permit for abstraction of ground water; permit to reclaim or drainage of land; permit for water use).
The members observed that effluent discharge license in a water body is charged by both NEMA and WARMA, it was proposed both parties could establish a fund for water bodies and environmental rehabilitation under the Ministry of Environment water and Natural resources. WARMA was suggested to collect the fund while NEMA will undertake the enforcement and supervision role and specific roles to be clarified and overlaps removed.. In addition, growers who are already carrying out water treatment to be encouraged through incentives.
It was further proposed that, the effluent discharge license could be charged on volume and load other than hectarage as most growers are already undertaking private water treatments.
It was observed the coco-peat is classified as a HS code by Kenya Revenue Authority attracting an import duty whereas it is an agricultural input. A study on the Coco peat was recommended to help build a case of exemption on why it should not attract duty.
Currently, green houses attract the buildings approval fee that is charged on permanent structures hence there is need for review the situation since greenhouses are semi-permanent structures and therefore should have a different charge rate.
Following the devolvement of the quality assurance, licensing and market access mandate to the county government, the members agreed the following working model: