12 May

The government will continue pushing for key reforms in the national tea sector to ensure farmers reap maximum benefits from their produce, Agriculture CS Peter Munya has said. Munya who spoke on Saturday during a farmers’ sensitisation exercise at Igembe Tea Factory in Igembe South, Meru County, said the government was mainly focusing on farmer-centric reforms considering the fact that the farmer was the primary stakeholder in the sector. “Without the tea farmer, there would be no sector to talk about. We are therefore committed to ensuring that the farmer remains our key target in whatever we do,” said Munya. The CS said some of the reforms being undertaken aimed at ensuring that farmers had a definite stake in the way their factories were run, through the power given to them to elect those in charge of their respective factories. “In the past, farmers had been denied powers to have their say in the management of their factories. We have now restored this responsibility back to the farmers and we will ensure the right is fully guarded. At the moment they can do away with the leaders who they feel are not working as per their expectations,” he said. Munya also said farmers will from this year start receiving their bonuses by July 10, so that they can be well informed on the type of leaders to elect based on their performance. He said they have also been able to push for reduction of Green Fedha loan interests from 24 to eight per cent, hence making the facility affordable to the majority of tea farmers. “I have also talked to the directors and asked them to look for money and the possibility of refinancing the loans owed by farmers to reduce their financial burdens,” added Munya. Source: Capital Digital Media