To end tea sectors’ problems, firsts restructure KTDA
Small-scale tea farmers across the country are up in arms following poor bonus payments. Most of them from the Central region and Kisii, who comprise the majority of tea farmers, are the worst-hit. There have been reports of use of force and brutality on some protesting farmers by the police. This has escalated the situation. Some farmers have in retaliation, stopped delivering the crop to their factories. Tea farming is not one of the best activities. It is tiring and demands a lot of labour and inputs such as fertiliser and chemicals. It needs to be protected. The problems facing the industry are many and require a multi-faceted approach to fix them. To start with, KTDA must be restructured. With devolution and with placing of class D roads under the county governments, it no longer makes sense to levy taxes on farmers’ cash for rural roads repair works. Our tea also needs to be marketed on the international market.
FELIX ONYIEGO Kisii county