Agricultural Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has said the implementation of the reforms in the tea sector has seen a sharp increase of the export of Kenyan tea within six months.
According to CS Munya within the six months period the tea export earnings shot from Shs 120 billion to Shs 136 billion as a result of the setting up of minimum reserve price.
Speaking on Monday when he unveiled the new Board of Directors of the Tea Board of Kenya, CS Munya urged the board to hit the ground running and focus on immediate interventions that are necessary to drive Tea reforms to ensure increased incomes and growth of the industry
“To maintain the current upward trajectory of the tea industry, the ongoing reforms will require a lot of commitment. For this reason, I have urged the board to hit the ground running and focus on the immediate interventions that are necessary to enable increased income and align the industry on the path of growth and prosperity,” said CS Peter Munya.
The CS noted that the Ministry of Agriculture has been working closely with the Tea Board of Kenya Secretariat, to drive various reforms.
“I am happy to note that the Reserve Price which has been implemented for about six months now has resulted in an increased export earnings: From Shs 120 billion to ShS136 billion,” he said.
On January 14 in a gazette notice, CS Munya appointed four directors to the board that will oversee operations in the tea value chain as part of implementation of the Tea Act.
The board which is required to have a maximum of 16 members will be tasked with overseeing the operations of the tea value chain.
The board will be charged with licensing of tea factories and tea traders as well as setting the minimum tea buying prices to protect farmers from exploitative prices.
This comes at a time when smallholder tea farmers have been grappling with low tea bonus payouts in recent years blamed on mismanagement and low global tea prices as a result of increased production.