Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Cabinet secretary Peter Munya has told Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata that reforms on tea and coffee did not start after he wrote a letter to the President.
Munya on Friday said agricultural reforms championed by the government started back in 2018 and that Kang’ata is not genuine when he claims that his letter to the president has prompted changes in the tea and coffee sector.
Speaking in Kangema when he engaged locals on the proposals on the coffee sector, Munya said it was wrong for Kang’ata who is a leader in the Senate to write a letter to the head of state instead engaging the president one on one about his sentiments.
On the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, he said it was too early to claim that people from the larger Mount Kenya region are opposed to it.
“How can people oppose something they don’t know, We are yet to educate the residents on what is contained in the report, so let’s wait till people are educated so we give them a chance to make their appropriate decision,” said Munya.
He added that the government has been committed to bring right changes in the agricultural sector, saying the President is fully committed to ensure farmers are not exploited by doing away with cartels and unscrupulous business people who have been taking advantage of poor farmers.
“We want to avoid cheap politics on the set reforms in the agricultural sector. Let leaders support what will benefit farmers and not just play politics which have no benefit to local mwananchi,” he added.
A few weeks ago, Kang’ata wrote a letter to the President claiming that only 20 percent of Mount Kenya region support the BBI.
Kang’ata who also graced the occasion reiterated that his letter was the truth and has helped the government to know the challenges people of the region have been going through.
He said coffee and tea farmers for a long time have been exploited and that what the farmers wanted to be tackled first are the problems they have been experiencing.
But Munya in a rejoinder said the government through his ministry is on ground to tackle the challenges the farmers have been encountering.
“The efforts to streamline the tea and coffee sector are at an advanced stage and that’s why today we are on ground to engage farmers in public participation on proposed regulations in the coffee sector. So Kang’ata these reforms we started a long time ago and not because of your letter,” stated the CS.
Others present in the meeting included Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro and his Kangema counterpart Muturi Kigano who called for speedy implementation of reforms that will ensure coffee and tea farmers are no longer exploited.
Ndindi said production of coffee needs to be boosted and the value chain streamlined to ensure the farmers earn more from their production.
By: Bernard Munyao