The National Assembly’s Committee on Delegated Legislation will issue a report on findings on tea sector reforms in a few weeks’ time after its Mombasa tour.
The committee chairman, Mr Willy Kamket, MP for Tiaty said it has visited all the major tea growing regions in the republic and interacted with key stakeholders.
”We have various views from tea farmers, small and big, and collected views on the entire sector from growing to the entire value chain and will be writing our report based on the regulations that have been presented before us,” Kamket said.
The Committee members said that farmers had expressed divergent views over the reforms being undertaken by the government to streamline the tea sector and make it more profitable to the farmer other than middlemen and other cartels.
KTDA and Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Cooperative Development have been at logger heads after KTDA moved to court to compel Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peter Munya to revoke the gazette notice appointing a special committee to steer reforms in the tea sector.
Munya said that as much as they respect the court ruling on the issue, the government has appealed that decision, which he said is aimed at delaying the much-needed reforms.
“We are appealing the decision by KTDA to challenge the appointment of the team to oversee reforms in the sector,” said Mr Munya.
KTDA rejected an eight-member team that was appointed by Mr Munya to advise the government on the reforms that can help to streamline the tea sector in the country.
The agency argued that the CS, without any statutory and legal mandate, went ahead and formulated the National Steering Committee on the implementation of tea reforms in Kenya and assigned specific roles to the committee members.
The CS said whereas the court stopped the team from starting its task, the process of implementation of the recently released Tea Regulations 2020 will be effected as planned.
“Implementation of the reforms outlined in the regulations is going on, this has not been stopped by the court,” Mr Munya said.
The team comprises tea broker Jacob Kamau Kihiu as the committee chair, Irungu Nyakera, Magerer Lang’at, Fredrick Muthuri Muriithi, and John Kamau as members.
Other members are former Tea Board director David Chomba Gachoki, Catherine Nyamboke Mogeni, and Wanja Michuki respectively.