Tea farmers taking charge of sub-sector

Appointed to the Agriculture ministry in January last year, Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya promised to reform the tea sub-sector. Then, the tea industry was controlled by unscrupulous dealers feeding off farmers’ sweat. The tea farmers taking charge of the sub-sector is amongst some of the changes hoping to boost local business.

A year later, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed two executive orders on the tea sector. Executive Order No. 2 of 2021 on the Coffee Sub-Sector Reforms and Executive Order No. 3 of 2021. This was on the Revitalisation of the Tea Sub-Sector.

In a statement released on March 20th, Kenya Tea Sector Lobby chair Irungu Nyakera said the President’s move had enabled tea farmers to take charge of the sector. Additionally, by electing directors of the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).

“Tea farmers have finally taken charge of the future and direction of the sector through the elections of KTDA directors. Which started with the nullification of the fraudulent election of KTDA factory directors in 2019, through action of three tea farmers,’’ he added.

The President signed the Tea Bill into law on December 23rd last year. From this, over 600,000 tea farmers were guaranteed a radical policy and structural reforms in the tea sector.

Tea farmers are now assured of better returns by purging cartels, middlemen and overhauling KTDA leadership said Mr. Nyakera. Furthermore, this took place in all the factories.

Under the new laws, KTDA will now focus on marketing and value addition of their produce.

Directives from Government on Tea Farmers taking charge of sub-sector

“President Kenyatta has assured the tea farmers of his commitment to the full implementation of the bill through Executive Order No 3 of 2021. Which recognised the need for the realignment of KTDA in favour of small scale farmers. The bill has also directed the Attorney General to conduct an inquiry into a conflict of interest in KTDA. And it goes on to set a limit for KTDA directors and chairmen tenures.’’

Interior and Coordination of National Government CS, Dr Fred Matiang’I will work with his Agriculture counterpart, and the Attorney-General to ensure the immediate and full implementation of the order.

“Starting today, tea farmers will follow a timetable given by Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. With Murang’a farmers taking the lead in Njunu, Nduti, Makomboki, Ikumbi, Githambo & Kanyenyaini tea factories.  “ said former P.S.

Moreover, the lobby called on tea farmers to only vote for credible directors who would serve their interests.

’’Every farmer has a right to a credible election, through the one-man-one-vote system, which eliminates the manipulation of the elections.’’

The Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings Limited has, however, sued the government. as they believed the ellections were illegal and unconstitutional.

Additionally, there is more about the tea farmers taking charge of the sub-sector; https://tradebellkenya.com/tea-farmers-take-charge-through-ktda-elections/

By Walter Odhiambo


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