Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has pledged government support in the implementation of tea reforms aimed at dealing with cartels in the sector and saving farmers from the agony of perennial economic losses.
Speaking during his tour of Murang’a County on Thursday, the CS said the government is determined to ensure farmers realize the value of their sweat in the farms.
“I want to tell those who are challenging the reforms that we are determined because we are interested in the welfare of the farmers…we will make sure it’s done and there is nothing that will stop us, ” said Matiang’i.
Tea Reforms Unstoppable – Matiang’i pic.twitter.com/U4PgSEiNvo
— Wycliffe Nyamasege (@w_nyamasege) March 12, 2021
He said he will work closely with his Agriculture counterpart Peter Munya to ensure that the farmers get better prices.
As part of the efforts to ensure that farmers are well represented, the CS directed the Murang’a County administration to ensure that the farmers are accorded enough security and any other support during the scheduled factory elections in the region.
Matiang’i stated that President Uhuru Kenyatta, who in December last year signed the Tea Bill of 2018 into law, wants the reforms implemented as soon as possible.
The Tea Bill is expected to bring relief to tea farmers in the country by ensuring they receive 50 per cent of their tea proceeds within 30 days of auction.
The tea reforms will ensure that the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), which has been holding a huge chunk of the proceeds for a year, will no longer have access to the tea billions since the money will now be controlled at the factory level.
The balance of the money will be paid at the end of the financial year.