The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has once again directed coffee marketers to apply for fresh licences ahead of the July 1 deadline, setting the stage for another fight with the Ministry of Agriculture that has dismissed this timeline.
The CMA, which is now mandated to regulate the Nairobi Coffee Exchange following the amendment of the Capital Markets (Coffee Exchange) Regulations, 2020 to extend its mandate to spot commodities, said the law has not been changed to enable another agency to supervise the sector.
Under the new regulations, coffee marketers are required to apply for licensing to CMA for them to become brokers.
“Traders will have to comply with the new regulations by July 1. The law has not been amended to remove that role from CMA,” said the markets regulator.
With the deadline approaching, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya last week met virtually with the Senate Committee on Agriculture to discuss the Coffee Bill, which does not recognise CMA as the regulator of Nairobi Coffee Exchange but instead has bestowed that mandate on the Coffee Directorate.
Mr Munya warned earlier that he will not allow CMA to take over the regulation of coffee as the transfer of the Nairobi Coffee Exchange to the regulator was done without following the set guidelines.
He argued that the transfer was not done properly because the Crops Act was never amended, adding that it gives the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary mandate to continue running the coffee value chain.
“The CMA amendments originated from the Ministry of Trade but I was not party to that,” said Mr Munya.
The CMA said it is regrettable that the Bill has been published without seeking its opinion.
In backing the changes, the capital markets regulator said it wants to bring sanity to coffee trading by addressing the market inefficiencies that will ensure farmers are paid directly.