Tea farmers welcome president’s directives to revive tea sector

Written By: Christine Muchira
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Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) Acting Director-General Anthony Muriithi said the high production is attributed to the onset of the long rains season characterised by high precipitation and sunny intervals experienced across tea growing areas in the west and south rift regions.

Tea sector stakeholders have welcomed President Kenyatta’s policy directives targeting the tea sector in the country.

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The stakeholders expressed their optimism about the gazettement of the Tea Regulations 2019, the establishment of the Green Leaf Pricing Formula Committee and establishment of a competence driven Kenya Tea Councilors directed by the President within the next 2 weeks saying that this will create a solid foundation for the required policy framework for the next phase of the Kenya tea Sector.

Speaking at Kericho tea Hotel, the Chairman, Kenya Tea Sector Lobby Irungu Nyakera said they are looking forward to seeing a radical surgery in the sector including the removal of the current leadership; Chairman, CEO and Company Secretary.

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Chairman Kenya Tea Sector Lobby Irungu Nyakera

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta directed radical restructuring measures of KTDA and its subsidiaries to have their own respective management and regularly publish results of their sales.

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“We are looking forward to seeing a radical surgery including the removal of the current leadership; Chairman, CEO and Company Secretary,” said Nyakera, addition that “KTDA directors should not sit on the board of subsidiaries or tea factories.”

Kenya being the leading exporter of black tea, accounting for nearly 20% of total global exports, the stakeholders said the gains must be reflected in the farmers’ earnings.

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While applauding the directive to pay no less than 50% of farmers’ deliveries as monthly payments with the balance being paid out as annual bonuses, they also expressed their commitment to work with the newly appointed Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.

“We are committed to working with Hon. Peter Munya, the Cabinet Secretary Agriculture to achieve this audacious goal of the president;improve farmers’ earnings by reducing the income lost to middlemen estimated at Ksh. 50 per kilo and value addition. We applaud the directive to pay no less than 50% of farmers’ deliveries as monthly payments with the balance being paid out as annual bonuses.” Said Nyakera.

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The lobby group also want immediate action by the Competition Authority as directed by the President, to bring to an end to the conflict of interest in KTDA, which saw three Kenyan farmers move to the high court on 7th November 2019, under the Fair Administration Act in a matter of the election of the directors under the constituent factories of KTDA holdings.

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