Government urged to strengthen Tea Board
17 November 2014, 14:39
Nyeri - KTDA board chairman, Peter Kanyago has urged the government to strengthen and restructure Tea Board of Kenya (TBK) in order to ensure it carries out its mandate properly for the interest of tea farmers.
The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) chairman said the Tea Board, if restructured, should also represent all stakeholders including small scale farmers.
Speaking at Iria-ini Tea Factory in Othaya, Kanyago said KTDA was recognised internationally due to its good work of ensuring farmers get their payments on time.
He spoke just a day after returning from an international tea conference in Indonesia.
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“When we were in the conference, we realised that tea boards in other countries are very much recognised unlike in Kenya. We need the Tea Board of Kenya to be strengthened enough and be given more mandates for the interest of farmers,” he stated.
He further called upon the government to safeguard the five water towers in the country, mostly Mau Forest, noting that if this is not done, some parts of Rift Valley will lack tea in the next two decades.
“Mau forest must be restored as it will impact a lot on tea farming in parts of West Rift Valley region in the next 20 years,” he added.
The chairman said KTDA has embarked on tree planting programme where all tea factories are planting more than one million trees annually to curb climate change.
He reiterated that the agency will from next year start manufacturing orthodox and purple tea in order to expand market since many countries started producing green tea.
He also mentioned that the government and the agency will establish a stabilization fund to cushion low tea prices for the sake of farmers.
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