Hundreds of Kirinyaga farmers on Thursday boycotted tea picking demanding the removal of their directors.
The farmers who are members of Thumaita Tea Factory kept away from their farms, protesting what they termed as exploitation.
They accused the factory management of deducting one kilogramme of tea from their produce without consulting them or giving an explanation as to why they were doing so.
They hit out at their directors, accusing them of failing to protect their interests.
The farmers rioted at Kamugunda Market, bringing business to a standstill as traders hurriedly closed their shops and took off, fearing looting.
They then proceeded to the factory and attempted to storm in to flush out the directors and workers but they were repulsed by armed riot police.
The farmers vowed to camp outside the factory until their demand were met.
Tension mounted as police patrolled the area to counter any possible eventuality.
"All the directors must go," one of the farmers, John Ngari shouted.
Earlier, the farmers closed tea buying centres and chased away the factory clerks.
One of the directors, Danson Njagi Mugane told farmers to resume tea picking, assuring them that their grievances will be addressed.