President Uhuru Finally Hears the Cry of Kenyan Tea Farmers

For some years now, tea farmers have been crying to the government to come for their rescue. This is because tea prices had started declining. KTDA, the body that in charge of tea in Kenya, has continued to frustrate the efforts of the farmers.  However, the cry finally came to an end early this week when the president of Kenya took up the issue.

During his state of address on Tuesday, the president ordered the ministry for agriculture and competition authority of Kenya to take off the roles of KTDA (Kenya tea development authority) directors as a way for tea producers to recoup gains.

The Address Details

In the address, he highlighted the malpractice of principal tea exporter in the country. This is in spite, having delivered value to farmers in the past.” some operational and governance challenges have emerged in the last few years. Key among these is the conflict of interest by directors and lack of clarity in the declaration of dividends by subsidiary companies,” he said.

The president further advised that to be able to curb one director having multiple roles in the tea agency. He said that there should be separate governance structures in the KTDA board. The president insisted more on market liberalizations through direct sales favoring over auctioning of tea. This way, the directors are likely to lose more.

According to the head of state, deciding on direct sales is a move that will ensure go-betweens get eliminated from the trade. These parasitic men have been reaping from the farmers the returns they have earned with lots of difficulties. “These middlemen, variously known as ‘Soko hurt’ or ‘mukohoro,’ purchase tea from farmers on a cash on delivery basis, and then sell it to KTDA in their names,” the president said.

The Benefits of the tea reforms for Tea farmers

The president then a directive to the ministry of agriculture to make sure that the tea regulations 2019 will put in place appropriate measures in ensuring anybody who is not a registered tea grower does not sell the tea. The president also extended the directive to the trade and national treasury ministries. It is to serve in complementing the legislations 2019 expected. The tea regulations are in a way that KTDA will have to pay 50% of the deliveries done as farmers’ monthly payment.

The regulations are set to push for direct sales with a substantive 80% of the total produce. There will be able also an establishment of the Green Leaf Pricing Formula Committee.  Their work will be to set the terms of tea pricing. The president further said non-growers should be locked out in the trade so that the expected regulations can be further encouraged.


The directive by the president during his national address came as a relief to farmers. Farmers have been crying, seeking for the review of both the mandate and scope of KTDA. The previous payments saw farmers emaciated pay of 69.7 billion. This is the lowest pay they received in a few years.


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