Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua read a riot act against the Kenya Tea Development Agency(KTDA) and directed them to resolve their disputes and withdraw the ongoing cases from court saying the infighting between the directors is hurting tea farmers.
Speaking while closing the two-day Tea Reforms Conference that he hosted in Kericho county, the Deputy president gave his commitment that he would stop at nothing until the farmers reap the benefits of their hard work through proper financial remuneration.
The deputy president has also sought intervention by the ministry of energy to see to it that KTDA is allowed to use their own power as opposed to selling the power they produce to Kenya power and buying it back.
This recommendation will go a long way in reducing the money used in production by KTDA and will cut the cost of production and will eventually reflect in the pockets of the farmers.
The DP expressed his personal commitment to the course of overseeing reforms in the Agricultural sector that will eventually see the sector thrive as well as the government’s commitment saying agriculture is Key to the Kenya Kwanza Government and is the backbone of the Kenyan economy.
The two-day conference saw the stakeholders give proposals which they are optimistic if implemented, could spiral the sector. The proposals centred around policy, legal and adminstrative issues.
Among the proposals was a recommendation to standardize certification, establishment and implementation of governance and administrative structures, conduct a Study of the geographic indications to position Kenyan tea as a premium product globally, set reserve prices to stabilise the markets, apply common green leaf standard for all factories, zero rating tea equipment, standardise the cost of production among other proposals.
The Deputy president is expected to hold subsequent meetings in furtherance to this discussion that will see proper categorization of the proposals and action. The National assembly and the senate through the majority leaders have also given the commitment in ensuring passage of bills that will aid the Agricultural sector in general.