Retailers in move to publish names and pictures of people caught shoplifting
- Retailers are seeking the green light to publish the names and pictures of persons caught shoplifting in their stores
- The move is in a bid to reduce an estimated annual loss of roughly Ksh5 billion
- They are also advocating for regulations that will facilitate administration of effective justice on the petty criminals and their networks
In a report presented to the State department of Trade, retailers said that revenue loss related to shoplifting is one of the leading factors contributing to the rising debt to suppliers. The report, which was presented before Trade Principal Secretary, Chris Kiptoo, forms the basis for ongoing review of the National Trade Policy.
The retailers say in the Study on Kenya Retail Sector Prompt Payment that an existing cartel of petty offenders who although caught on a regular basis, always find a way out and come back to steal.
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There are also cases where the shoplifters buy their freedom through corrupt means, the report adds. This, the retailers argue, leaves them exposed, with lost goods undermining their cash flow, hence contributing to delayed payments.
The Kenya Retail Analysis report, launched in July 2016, showed the country’s key retailers were losing up to Ksh3.5 billion annually to pilferage, with the entire retail sector estimated to incur about Ksh5 billion.The sector is dominated by indigenous supermarket chains, including Nakumatt, Naivas, Tuskys, Uchumi and Chandarana.
Biosafety Authority clashes with Environmental Authority over genetically modified maize trials
- The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has clashed with the National Environmental Authority (NEMA) in regard to testing and adoption of genetically modified maize
- The NBA says research and field trials should go on, while NEMA insists that safety issues must be guaranteed
- The Authority has stated that genetically modified products assessed and approved by NBA are not harmful to humans, animals or the environment
The Biosafety Authority said field trials did not amount to commercialisation since the crops were for research. Biosafety Authority Chief Executive, Willy Tonui defended the decision to issue a licence for controlled national field trials (NFT), saying earlier tests by various State agencies and independent entities had confirmed that genetically modified maize is safe for human and animal consumption. The Authority said that when such products are approved, they will have a unique NBA approval number and label on the packets for consumer information and ease of traceability.
Dr Tonui added that field trials shall only be conducted in isolated and secure sites, ensuring no cross-pollination with other maize varieties. The modified maize will only be available in the Kenyan market, or openly cultivated, after full authorisation by the NBA. The Authority said it conducted further tests on maize where it confirmed that the locally developed GM crop did not contain toxic elements or allergenic properties that are different from conventional maize.
The Authority was reacting to last Monday’s stand by NEMA that overruled field trials of genetically modified crops before their safety is ascertained. NEMA director general Geoffrey Wahungu said they first needed safety assurance on the drought and disease resistant maize, which has had high yields during trials at farms owned by Kenya Agricultural Research and Livestock Organisation (KARLO).
Drought shrinks February tea production by 58%
- Kenya’s tea production in February slumped 58.4% compared to the same period last year due to an ongoing drought
- The industry performance highlights for the month indicate that the volumes dropped to 22 million kilogrammes from 53 million kilos in corresponding period in 2016
- The decrease in production is largely attributed to dry and hot weather conditions experienced in all the tea growing areas, said Samuel Ogola, Head of the Tea Directorate
Mr Ogola says the lower production was also recorded in the two tea sub-sectors that include small-scale holders and the large plantations. The Directorate reports that smallholder sub-sector registered a decrease of 12.85 million kilos from 26.56 million kilos recorded in February 2016 to 13.71 million kilos. On the other hand the plantation sub-sector recorded a decrease of 8.51 million kilos, from 17.40 million to 8.88 million kilos.
Mr Ogola said that declining production trend was expected into the month of March due to continued impact of dry and hot weather conditions.
During the month, 20.21 million kilos of Kenyan tea was sold through the Mombasa auction against 37 million kilograms recorded in February 2016.
The average tea auction price for Kenyan tea for the month of February 2017 was Ksh315 per kilo, which was higher compared with Ksh248 recorded in February 2016 and was also slightly higher to Ksh312 recorded in January this year.
Improved prices were attributable to good demand following the ongoing winter conditions in the Northern Hemisphere coupled with lower supply of tea due to hot and dry weather conditions.
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