The government banned the selling of maize by people who are not farmers through the promulgation of Statutory Instrument 145 of 2019 under the Grain Marketing (Control of Sale of Maize) Regulations.
The new measures were announced by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.
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Among other things, the measures instruct the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) not to accept maize delivered by a person who is not a producer of maize or who is not a contractor.
A person found guilty of violating Statutory instrument 145 of 2019, that is, selling, storing, possessing, or exporting maize risks being jailed for two years.
Furthermore, the government has limited the amount of grain that one can move from one place to another. Part of the regulations read:
A producer of maize or farmer is permitted to transport not more than five bags of maize of a capacity not exceeding 50 kilogrammes per bag from one area of the country to the other without any authorised person or police offer having to confiscate the maize.
A farmer can only exceed the aforementioned quantity when the maize is being transported to the GMB for sale.
The measures also state that authorities have the powers to seize grain if there is the suspicion that the SI is being violated.
… an authorised agency or person executing its statutory duties may in the case where there is reasonable suspicion that maize is being sold in contravention of these regulations, do either or both of the following: Seize the maize in question (b) seize any vehicle, container or other property used in connection with the storage or transportation of maize in question as an exhibit in the contemplated prosecution of the offence, in accordance with the provisions of these regulations.
Police officers have been authorised to search a house or dwelling if they suspect that the regulations are being violated;
A police officer or an authorised person in terms of subsection (1) may obtain a warrant to enter or search any dwelling or house he or she believes on reasonable grounds that evidence relating to a contravention of these regulations is to be found in that dwelling or house.
The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is a state owned commodity trading enterprise that deals in cereals and oil seeds, the provision of logistic services to the agricultural industry as well as processing of products. The board's main objective is to ensure national food security through... Read More About Grain Marketing Board