President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday, January 14 announced major steps by the government to assist Kenyan farmers to realise more profits from their harvests after a long period of outcry.
Addressing the nation from State House, Mombasa, President Kenyatta directed the Competition Authority of Kenya, under the Ministry of National Treasury, to take decisive action to bring to an end the long period of losses for farmers.
“Kenya remains the main exporter of tea in the world accounting for about 20% of total world tea exports. This should reflect on the farmer’s pocket," he noted.
"KTDA has delivered a lot of value before but recently, it is being faced by a conflict of interest by directors which also leads to a lack of clear payments to farmers. Poor corporate governance has also been an issue affecting the farmers,” remarked Kenyatta.
The president ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to bring to an end the era of brokers in the tea sector.
“A kilogram of Kenyan tea attracts almost Ksh 91 in the market but the farmer only receives Ksh 41. The largest amount ends up in the pockets of brokers and middlemen.
“I direct the Ministry of Agriculture to come up with a clear mechanism to weed out all unregistered tea buyers. In addition, the New Tea regulations 2019 (Bill) will be ready in two weeks to formulate for pricing processes,” added Uhuru.
President Kenyatta also directed the National Treasury to release the Ksh3 billion Cherry Advanced Fund to coffee farmers.
“I direct the Ministry of Agriculture to operationalise the Ksh3 billion cherry fund within 30 days,” added Kenyatta.
After a period of complaints from farmers due to low milk prices, the president ordered a general overhaul, with over Ksh1 billion allocated to the sector.
“I direct the National Treasury to release Ksh500 million for the purchase of milk from farmers. The milk shall later be converted into milk powder for storage.
“I further direct that the Treasury to allocate Ksh575 million for the expansion of the New KCC in Nyeri and Nyahururu to boost productivity in the milk sector,” remarked the President.
He also laid out strict measures to lock out cheap imports from neighbouring countries that have long affected the Kenyan dairy sector.
“I direct that the National Treasury impose a 16 per cent tax for all milk and milk products being brought outside the East African region,” added the president.
The president also ordered for measures to be put in place to ensure rice farmers in Kano and Mwea, Kirinyaga County reap maximumly from their hard work.
In a bid to assist banana farmers, Kenyatta directed that the Treasury allocates Ksh300 million for the construction of cold storage stations in Meru, Nyandarua and Kisii counties.
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