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Tea reforms propose payment of half the green leaf delivered be done within 30 days

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya on Friday told farmers from tea growing areas of Kiambu that the government has prepared a raft of reforms in the sector that were aimed at benefiting the farmers.

While speaking at Ndiko primary School, Gatundu North, during a sensitisation exercise attended by hundreds of small holder tea farmers from Kagwe, Kambaa, Theta, Ndarugu, Gachege and Mataara tea factories, Munya said that the tea sector reforms would ultimately lead to increase of money in the pocket of the farmer.

The reforms which follows the directives given by President Uhuru Kenyatta seek to place tea farmers, the primary stakeholders in the tea value chain, at the center; ensuring that they get a fair share from their contribution to the value chain.

In summary, the government has set out to implement the following reforms:

⮚ Reduce the managing agency fee levied on the factories from 2.5% to 1.5%

⮚ Requiring managing agents to bear the costs for staff seconded to the tea factories

⮚ Smallholder tea factories to appoint own company secretary or outsource the services

⮚ Remuneration of tea broker by a smallholder factory limited company and tea buyer not to exceed 0.75% of the gross sales, i.e. 0.2% from tea factory and 0.55% from the tea buyer

⮚ Payment to farmers of at least 50% for the green leaf delivered every month within 30 days from receipt of the proceeds of the sale of tea

⮚ Tea factory Board to have a maximum of three members

⮚ The Board to be elected through democratic process of one man, one vote

⮚ Tenure of the Board to be a maximum of two terms of three years each

⮚ Value addition of at least 40% of annual exports

⮚ The Auction Organizer to establish an electronic trading platform for the auction of tea

⮚ All teas manufactured for export market except orthodox and purple teas to be offered for sale exclusively at the auction floor

⮚ Factory limited companies to participate directly at the auction

⮚ Auction trading rules and regulations to be submitted to the Cabinet Secretary for approval before application.

The CS also launched avocado, coffee and tea seedlings distribution programme to farmers.

Among the leaders present included host MP Anne Wanjiku Kibe, her Thika Town counterpart Eng. Patrick Wainaina, Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura, EALA MP Mpuri Aburi, Kiambu County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga, Gatundu North Deputy County Commissioner Buxton Mayabi, MCAs Mwangi Nduati and Kibicho , KTDA directors among other local leaders.

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