Tea Farmers all over the country have expressed their dissatisfaction with the management of the Kenya Tea Development Agency. The farmers want the administration disbanded over dwindling payments.
Furthermore, over 30,000 growers have demanded investigations of financial misconduct.
Farmers in Rift valley have accused the KTDA management of failure to incorporate strategies that will earn tea products higher prices.
Additionally, the farmers also demanded an election to root out incompetent directors from the Agency. According to a farmer in Nandi county, low bonus payments equate to exploitation of farmers.
As a result, many tea growers face challenges such as servicing loans and maintaining their farms.
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“KTDA requires an urgent overhaul to cushion farmers against being pushed out of the sector due to the high cost of production coupled with low returns,” said Mathew Lang’at.
Growers in Murang’a county led by Governor Mwangi Wa Iria demanded that KTDA should make their accounts public. The move follows a drop in payments to farmers from KSh 11.2 billion in 2018 to KSh 8.9 billion in 2019.
In response to the complaints, the High Court of Murang’a has ordered an independent audit of books of KTDA. The Auditor-General will analyze tea earnings, bonuses, and the tea produce supplied to KTDA in 2018 and 2019.