11 Sep

Coffee and tea farmers in Meru have hailed Agriculture CS Peter Munya’s reforms aimed at transforming the sector.

The farmers warned directors of the Kenya Tea Development Agency opposed to the reforms to stop playing politics with the vital sector. They gathered at Shabaha Stadium, Kionyo and Kariene Primary School in South Imenti and Central Imenti constituencies.

Genson Mbaabu praised Munya for being bold and fighting cartels who have misused and deprived farmers of their hard-earned money. He said it was the first time he suffered losses since he started growing coffee and tea.

Mugambi Nkanata, Kusto secretary general, told the CS not to tire, fear or be intimidated by few individuals moving to court to derail implementation of the reforms.

“You have our blessings. These reforms were initiated by all stakeholders in 2014. We are thirsty for more money. During elections, we fully support one man, one vote system and a three-year term tenure renewable for another three years. We are tired of some unproductive directors who have overstayed and some made themselves small gods,” Nkanata said.

Munya was accompanied to the events by Imenti South MP Kathuri Murungi, Imenti Central MP Kirima Ngushine and East Africa Legislative Assembly MP Mpuru Aburi. He said he will press on to ensure farmers get good prices of coffee, tea, milk, cotton, macadamia, bananas and other farm produce.

“Farmers have suffered enough. President Uhuru Kenyatta wants to see coffee, tea, miraa, bananas and other produce generate more money to the farmer. He authorised the implementation of the reforms even before I was reshuffled into the Agriculture ministry. Those opposed to the reforms claim the price of coffee or tea will go down, then, why can’t they wait for us to weigh which side brings more money to farmers?” Munya said.

Kathuri said those opposing the reforms are goons for hire, while Aburi questioned why no one bothered when farmers started uprooting coffee, tea and pouring out milk because of detrimental prices.

Source: The Star