Munya wants to kill KTDA, moan directors

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya gives a speech at Ahero Multipurpose Grounds during the launch of the national e-voucher programme last month. Directors of the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) in the South Rift claim reform the CS introduced could result in its collapse.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The 21 want Mr Munya to suspend implementation of the regulations until all small-holder farmers have been involved and their input factored in as they are the largest group of stakeholders in the sector.
  • They spoke yesterday during a meeting at Tirgaga tea factory in Bomet county.
  • KTDA was privatized through a Sessional Paper number two (2) of 1999 which led to the formation of the Agency from the former Kenya Tea Development Authority.

Directors of Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) in the South Rift claim reforms introduced by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya could result in its collapse.

The 21 want Mr Munya to suspend implementation of the regulations until all small-holder farmers have been involved and their input factored in as they are the largest group of stakeholders in the sector.

They hold that issues facing the sector are not operational but “politically motivated in what would shake the pillars of the industry by killing the goose that lays the golden egg.”

They spoke yesterday during a meeting at Tirgaga tea factory in Bomet county.

“Despite its success in the last 55 years, and being a leading foreign exchange earner for the country, the sector is faced with challenges in what would affect 600,000 farmers who have been involved in the sector,” said Mr Raymond Milgo, chairman of Kapset tea factory group of companies.

He added: “The changes are meant to curtail services offered by KTDA without understanding the structure and operations of the sector. It is meant to benefit a group of politically correct individuals while purporting it would benefit the farmers.”

To pay farmers

Global market demands, over production of tea, shrinking land sizes, cost of operations and political instability in parts of the traditional markets for the produce are some of the factors affecting returns from the cash crop.

KTDA was privatized through a Sessional Paper number two (2) of 1999 which led to the formation of the Agency from the former Kenya Tea Development Authority.

Factories and assets are owned by small scale farmers but managed by the agency on their behalf.

“Unfortunately the Cabinet Secretary did not take the input and opinion of small-scale tea farmers who are not aware of the import of the changes as public participation meetings were not held,” said Mr Milgo who read the statement on behalf of the directors.

They want the multi-level taxation in the sector scrapped and the savings ploughed back to pay farmers.

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