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MP calls for disbandment of KTDA

18 September 2014, 13:26 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Nandi Hills MP, Alfred Keter, has called on the government to disband the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) due to the current disparities in the pricing of the crop in various tea growing regions within the country.

Keter said the woes farmers are facing in terms of huge variations in bonus payments and tea prices between western and Mt. Kenya regions is a result price fixation by KTDA.

“The differences in pricing are alleged to have been caused by the quality of tea per kilo in the two regions. However, it is hard to believe that you can have the entire Mt. Kenya producing the best quality of tea such that the lowest in Mt. Kenya cannot even be compared with the highest quality in the Western Kenya region,” said Keter.

“We call upon the government to disband KTDA so that each and every factory becomes independent and able to auction and market their tea,” he added.

Keter asserted that out of 10 KTDA auctioneers, nine are from Mt. Kenya and only one from Western Kenya thus the witnessed bias in the pricing of tea in the two regions.

Read Also: Government keen on expanding tea, coffee markets

“The marketing concept of tea trading is skewed to favor Mt. Kenya region thus showing a high sense of biasness. Mt. Kenya carries the highest rate at KES 26.50 per kilo of tea as compared to KES 8.50 per kilo in Western Kenya,” said Keter.

He also cited from a report revealing that all 34 tea factories in Central Kenya have full status while 11 factories out of 20 in western region are satellites hence showing the unwanted favoritism in the industry.

“KTDA is currently managing 65 tea factories but 11 of them concentrated in the west of the rift valley are satellites of the 54 and do not enjoy full status. This imbalance in pricing has made farmers in the affected region even unable to take their students to school and many are becoming poor,” said Keter.

Read Also: Tea farmers on go-slow, want better bonuses

Moreover, the Nandi Hills MP said URP will convene a meeting to look into the conducts of the National Assembly’s Majority Leader, Adan Duale, over the recent abusive attack of Bomet governor, Isaac Rutto in Narok.

“Duale’s utterances were regrettable and as URP members, we are going to convene a meeting to censure Duale even before Parliament resumes from recess. We are going to remove him from office because it is not the first time he has been caught in such utterances,” said Keter.

He was speaking at a press conference at Parliament Buildings.  

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