Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has scoffed at the Senate committee on delegated legislation for rejecting the tea regulation 2020.
Munya said it was unfortunate to see the Senate Committees refuse to accede to the regulations that have been subjected to public participation from farmers and other stakeholders and given a clean bill of health.
He said the move was ill-informed as the reforms were geared towards repositioning the tea industry towards profitability through weeding out cartels and middlemen in the value chain as well as ensuring value addition before exportation of the commodity.
Munya called on the Senators to ensure the regulations are passed once they are brought to the floor of the house on Tuesday next week.
"They are aimed at helping farmers to put more money in their pocket after many years of poor pay and prolonged exploitation," he said.
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The decision by the committee to annul the regulations, the CS added which he noted had received overwhelming support from stakeholder was selfish.
“We as the national government and farmers would like to advice the Senate to take its duties and responsibility seriously by passing these regulations.
He accused a section of governors opposed to the tea regulations 2020 adding that tea belonged to farmers and was not a personal property of individuals.
“It’s only a few people or two or three governors who have issues with the rules. Tea does not belong to the CS or one person but belongs to farmers. Why would the committee fault proposals and recommendations from farmers who want to free themselves from the york of poverty,” wondered the CS.
Munya said the State has made amendments and in-corporated regulations on the Tea bill 2018, sponsored by Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, which has since been transmitted to the House for consideration.
The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) had petitioned the House to be allowed to make amendments to the regulations.
The CS was speaking at the Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology in Nyeri County during the launch of coffee-flavored yoghurt which is a joint venture between the university and local milk processor, Wakulima Dairy Ltd.
He noted that similar reforms were being undertaken in other key agricultural sectors such as coffee, pyrethrum, and dairy that was all aimed at turning around the fortunes of farmers.
Munya said the government was keen on promoting agro-processing which is anchored in the government’s agricultural transformation strategy and the big four agenda to ensure products locally produced are value-added before exportation.