Tea farmers in Kericho have unanimously rejected the proposed Crops (Tea Industry) Regulations 2020 by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mr. Peter Munya to have the Kenya Tea Development Agency KTDA be run and managed by the government.
In a stormy meeting which was held Saturday at Litein high school and attended by among others Kericho Senator Aron Cheruiyot, governor Paul Chepkwony and a representative from the National Assembly Committee on delegated legislation, the farmers said they would not allow the KTDA to be taken back to the government to run and manage it on their behalf, and that the tea sector should be managed and run as a farmers’ outfit.
The farmers led by Cheruiyot called for the proposed Crops (Tea industry) Regulations to be relooked into afresh and allow farmers more time to peruse the document in succinct while at the same time have them give their input into the document.
The Senator said certain clauses in the proposals on the regulations were acceptable, while others did not favour the tea farmers.
He said the farmers needed more time to go through the regulations and the proposer should allow for changes to have their views to be incorporated.
Cheruiyot said that before the regulations were taken up in the final draft, the farmers’ views on the tea sector should be addressed and ironed out properly.
On his part, Prof. Chepkwony supported calls by the tea farmers not to have the KTDA be run and managed by the government.
He said that the proposed tea regulations failed to capture some of the issues the farmers needed to be addressed.
The governor said that in the proposed tea regulations, certain clauses were injurious to the tea farmers and first they would reject them in totality in order to allow their views to be incorporated.
He said that some clauses in regulations that would see the tea farmer progress were not captured while those clauses that are injurious to the tea farmers needed to be removed.
The chairman of the proposed regulations Mr. George Murugara said that the farmer’s views were very important and that their concerns, memorandum and views, would be presented before the Agriculture CS for adoptions.
By Dominic Cheres