Munya hits out at KTDA for opposing plans to streamline tea sector
Tuesday, September 8th, 2020
RULES: Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has taken exemption to a move by Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) for opposing new tea regulations aimed at streamlining the sub-sector.
Munya said the agency has been spreading propaganda that the intended reforms mean no good to the farmers.
The rebuke by the CS coincides with a new report which shows that Kenya’s tea exports in the first seven months of the year declined marginally, pulled down by the outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The report from the Tea Dirctorate of the Agriculture Food Authority (AFA) shows that exports stood at 289 million kilos between January and July, a decline from 293 million kilos in a similar period in 2019.
Pakistan remained the top buyer of Kenya’s tea during the period, importing 97 million kilos, followed by Egypt 56 million and the UK 30 million.
In a similar period in 2019, Pakistan imported 106 million kilos of Kenyan tea, while Egypt 57 million and Britain 26 million.
Speaking in Gatanga during a tea farmer’s meeting on Sunday, Munya said he will stop at nothing to ensure that the proposed reforms in the sub-sector are implemented.
He said he is not fighting the tea agency, but he is implementing the orders by President Uhuru Kenyatta who directed him to streamline the sub-sector.
Munya said the move by the agency to go to court was uncalled for and allegations that it was not involved in the drafting of the regulations are untrue.
“We did thorough consultations with all the stakeholders and so anyone who claims not to have been involved in the process is lying,” he said.
“We still have room for negotiations and if KTDA feels it can bring more input, the door is open,” Munya added.
Munya said the sub-sector is full of cartlels who have been squandering the farmers money vowing to flush them out.
“The tea sub-sector is too valuable to be left to cartels and they are the ones fighting back” he said.
Agriculture and Food Authority acting director Anthony Muriithi said they are going to unsure the regulations are implemented once they are assented.