President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday moved to end the current challenges facing tea farmers by instituting reforms at the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).
President Kenyatta said that despite the gains made by the farmers'-owned KTDA, there were challenges that had disadvantaged farmers.
In that regard, President Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture to work with the Competition Authority of Kenyatta to ensure that KTDA subsidiaries operated without conflict of interest and that each will have different governance structures.
KTDA owns several subsidiaries where some of its directors serve in conflicting roles, a fact that the head of state admitted served to deny farmers their fair share of dividends.
Further, Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Agriculture to gazette the new tea regulations with two weeks which is expected to prevent non-tea growers from engaging in sale of tea.
The tea agency was also urged to explore a new payment structure where its farmers will get half of their earnings upon delivery of their produce before awaiting their annual bonus at the end of the year.
To dairy farmers who have recently complained of unfair competition from imported milk, the President announced a 16% VAT on all milk products outside of the EAC.
He further directed Sh500 million to be released to New KCC to purchase excess milk from farmers. Another Sh500 million to establish two milk processing plants in Nyahururu and Nyeri.