Nandi County Governor Stephen Sang on Friday unveiled a team to conduct an extensive review on the multinational companies’ engagements in tea subsector in a bid to address the challenges facing the sector.
The taskforce which will be working in collaboration with the County governments of Kericho and Bomet is expected to give their recommendation within a period of 90 days.
Addressing the media at the county grounds, Governor Sang said that the taskforce comprised of a chairman, three secretariat and eight members namely John Cheruiyot as chairman, Godfrey Sang, Kibet Gim, Maureen Chepng’etich (secretariat), Rev. Elijah Yego, Dr. Bernard Kiplimo, Nathan Tororei, Steve Rotich, Dr. Ruth Choge, Wilson Kipkogei, CPA Alfred Lagat, Dr. Philemon Bureti (members).
“It is important to note that every time issues around multinationals are raised emotions arise. We have decided that the best way is through a taskforce,” noted governor Sang adding that the taskforce comprise of men and women of integrity who are passionate, committed and full of experience on the issues and therefore capable to address the challenges in a bid to ensure residents as well as the county benefits from the sector while at the same time protecting the investors who are the multinationals.
The county boss further noted that the task force will review the current and emerging challenges facing the tea sector and its stakeholders, coordinate stakeholders consultation with multinationals and other tea subsector players, review socio-economic impact of mechanisation in the sector through tea plucking machines among multinational companies as well as propose appropriate mitigation measures.
“With the taskforce we will be able to establish all the county leases including acreage and consider the current land rates as well as the applicable fees,” he explained noting that currently the multinationals are paying Sh. 100 per year per acre terming it too little.
Governor Sang also observed that by collaborating with Kericho and Bomet counties they will be able to come up with policies that will ensure there is equity in land rates by all multinationals regardless of the county they are operating from.
“Currently Nandi County is lagging behind Kericho and Bomet counties. While multinationals in Nandi are paying Sh. 100, multinationals while in the two Counties are paying Sh. 1,600 per year per acre,” he stated.
By Ruth Mainye