Reforms are for your good, Munya tells farmers
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has told tea farmers that the reforms in the sector are meant to uplift them.
Speaking at Tea Farmers Consultative meetings in Kisii and Nyamira Counties on Friday, Munya said the tea sector earns the country Sh120 billion foreign exchange annually and that it could not afford to ignore it.
The Cabinet Secretary said the reforms were sanctioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta who was concerned about how brokers and cartels were fleecing tea farmers who toil very hard year in year out.
“The reforms being carried out in the tea sector have the support of all tea farmers since public participation was done,” said Munya.
According to Munya, auditing of the Kenya Tea Development Agency pool fund was one of the issues the State is investigating within the agency to ensure farmers do not lose their money.
The Cabinet Secretary revealed that some of the allegations include mysterious 1,000 containers of Kenyan tea that was discovered in the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan that were being traded in a clandestine manner.
Munya said State officials had busted a cartel of business brokers who were trading the tea in the foreign markets, bringing into question transparency in trading of the produce.
Governor James Ongwae said tea farmers in Kisii County were concerned about the low bonus prices where they earned Sh9 per kilo in an area that produced 22 million Kilogrammes of tea per year.
Nyamira Senator Eric Mogeni said that tea farmers across the country were fully behind the reforms by the government and that those opposed to them were working for cartels who were benefitting more than the farmers.
Mogeni called on the Government to investigate how Sh13 billion belonging to tea farmers that was banked at Chase Bank got lost.
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