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Koskei blames KTDA for tea industry's problems

RIFT VALLEY
By Rael Jelimo | October 14th 2014
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei in Nakuru. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]

Nakuru; Kenya: Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei has defended the one per cent ad valorem levy (based on the value of a product) on tea exports.

Mr Koskei termed the taxation crucial in facilitating the implementation of tea policies and infrastructural development.

Farmers and stakeholders had blamed the State for imposing the levy, claiming the export tax had left Kenya vulnerable to unwarranted competition from other tea exporting countries. Koskei shifted the blame of problems bedevilling the tea industry to Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).

"Mismanagement at KTDA is a major cause of the current problems being experienced in the tea industry; the one per cent ad valorem levy is important in facilitating tea policy implementation and infrastructural development in the sector," he said.

This comes weeks after the agency released a 50 per cent drop in tea bonus prices in the June 2014 financial year, averaging Sh17 per kilogramme, compared to last year.

Koskei accused KTDA of shifting interests from addressing tea farmers' concerns to concentrating on unimportant responsibilities such as banking and insurance.

 

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