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Dispute between former and new directors at KTDA to be resolved through ADR

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methanism will be used to resolve disputes between former and new directors at the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).

This in order to resolve outstanding issues and pave the way for the implementation of the provisions of the Tea Act 2020.

Mithika Linturi, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture

Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi noted that many court cases that have been lodged against the implementation of the act have hampered the implementation of some of the tea reforms and the realization of the desired outcomes for the tea sub-sector.

“The government will not allow interference with the management of tea farmers’ properties and therefore urges those aggrieved by the elections that were held last year by smallholder tea farmers to await the conclusion of the cases filed in court,” said Linturi.

The ministry has set up a task force to help resolve some of the cases that were filed by the former directors and the former management of Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) and smallholder tea factories.

The CS did not however announce the members of the task force.

The CS noted that among the key interventions that were made to address the high cost of inputs and to cushion tea farmers from an upsurge in fertilizer prices occasioned by global economic factors was the provision of fertilizer subsidy, further assuring tea farmers that bank rates will be re-looked to conform with the international money market.

KTDA Cartels

KTDA has been dogged by dramas that have not helped the farmer.

The directors, through court cases have ensured that reforms in the sector is defeated.

A powerful and ruthless cartel controls the tea sector.

Tea farmers across Kenya are beginning to suffer under the newly appointed KTDA directors, through crooked pricing and open exploitation.

Like in the past as shown below, farmers are getting the short end of the stick.

Of the 200 million kilograms of tea that KTDA processed annually, 60% is sold at Mombasa Tea Auction on Tuesdays all year round. The other 40% was handled through private arrangements where certain well-placed players were given wealth on a silver platter.

Wilson Muthaura, CEO, KTDA

One of those cartels that cons farmers through a crooked, opaque and corrupt price discovery is KTDA’s marketing department through Chai Trading Limited, and Lipton.

The two entities buys over 100 million Kilogrammes of tea from KTDA annually.

Treatment of Chai Trading Limited as a non-entity of KTDA was the fraud in itself. 

Big multinationals and Chai Trading suppress the auction prices by bidding rock bottom prices. So brokers are unable to sell them the tea below reserve prices.

Therefore, when the multinationals and Chai Trading fail to get tea at rock-bottom extortion prices, they go to Marketing Department on Wednesdays where they are offered the tea at rock-bottom prices.

Chai Trading Limited deals mainly in premium tea grown in the region known as east of Rift Valley: Kiambu, Muranga, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Embu and Meru. 

The tactics used by the ousted KTDA cartel directors, of reaping where they do not sow, is back in full swing.

If the situation continues, farmers across the country will uproot their tea plantations in protests over KTDA and there will be no boasting, by the govt, about how Kenya tea is international.

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