Gachagua meets KTDA board as tea, coffee reforms get underway

Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 06:20 | By
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. PHOTO/Courtesy

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua yesterday met Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) directors as the government firms up reforms geared towards increasing pay for farmers.

Gachagua said the government will not relent on the push to streamline the sector to make it more profitable to farmers.

The Deputy President hosted the Board of Directors led by Chairman David Muni Ichoho at his office in Harambee Annex. He promised the administration’s readiness to work with them to clear the industry of cartels out to exploit farmers.

“We are concerned about the capture of the sector by various forces which are working to the disadvantage of the farmers. We want to free the sector from these forces,” he said.

The Deputy President said the administration’s sole interest was in how to improve the farmers’ fortunes so that farming does not remain a vicious cycle of poor returns and endless pain.

“We have no personal interest in the sector other than the interest of the local farmers. The situation we have now is not pleasant. It is a vicious cycle of poor returns for our tea farmers. The tea farms make beautiful scenery across the country but the owners remain poor,” he noted.

President William Ruto tasked Gachagua with spearheading the reforms in the tea, coffee and milk sectors and has expressed full trust in his ability to reform them.

He said the end result would be to put more money in farmers’ pockets. Already the government has rolled out a fertilizer subsidy programme that has seen farmers buy the input at Sh3,500 down from Sh6,000. This is part of the administration’s plan to ease the pain of farming with the main objective to reduce the cost of food.

“Our farmers have been fairly disadvantaged. We want to lessen the burden for them. We have already subsidized fertilizers. We want them to reap good yields without overspending on their farms,” Gachagua.                                      

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