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Independent tea producers hail government reforms

Kiambu, Kenya May 12-Independent tea producers within the nation have lauded the government for the tea reforms launched within the nation, which have addressed the drastic decline in market pricing of tea, particularly on the public sale.

There had been issues earlier than on the best way the patrons have been bidding on the public sale with costs going beneath manufacturing.

Chairman Independent Tea Producers Association Collins Cheruiyot stated that almost all producers who’re processing inexperienced leaf from smallholder tea farmers are on board to assist the government’s organising of the minimal tea value on the public sale.

“The market price of tea at the auction had put considerable strain on producers which in turn had reduced returns to farmers and to this end as independent producers, we support the steps set forth by the government to increase the minimum pricing at the Auction,” he stated.

Speaking on the Kuresoi Tea manufacturing facility in Kericho County throughout a media tour, Cheruiyot stated the brand new tea Act has really been very helpful by way of putting in laws to make sure that operations within the tea business are regulated and coordinated.

“I think for us as members of the Independent Tea Producers, one of the major positives is the fact that we now are recognized as a significant player within the tea industry which was not the case before,” he stated.

Cheruiyot additional stated that they’ve been given a platform the place they’ll categorical their opinions, can categorical their enterprise fashions, and demystify the picture that had been portrayed earlier than.

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He stated as impartial producers, there was a notion that they don’t take a look at the standard of the leaf they get however he clarified it’s not true.

“As independent players in the tea industry, we are working in terms of sustainability of the tea industry and local retail is a major aspect of this planning considering that local tea sales are able to control pricing mechanisms and also control the movement of volumes,” he stated.

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He defined that the native market has really elevated progressively over the previous 5 years from round 34 million kilos, and now about 40 million kilos of tea, made per yr saying by way of progress expectations, they anticipate to proceed rising and taking a look at 50 million kgs within the native market within the subsequent 5 years.

“We operate under the umbrella of the Independent Tea Producers Association, with control of ethics and regulations.  We have leaf clerks to evaluate the quality of leaf that we are receiving, field extension officers who apart from recruiting farmers, train and talk to them about the quality expectation, and of course we do reject them if they do not meet our leaf quality standards”, Cheruiyot stated

He defined that the present membership of the Independent Tea Producers consists of twenty-two factories, out of which a few of them are literally factories which are purely specialty tea, whereas a few of them have each CTC and specialty tea.

“A lot of our factories are also looking at future expansion to put in line either an orthodox tea line or a green tea line so specialty teas are aspects that we anticipate to put as part of our production process. Of these 22 factories, I think about 12 are doing value addition at the factory site”, Cheruiyot who can also be a Technical and Strategy Director at Kuresoi Tea manufacturing facility stated.

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He famous that almost all of their members want to add specialty tea to make sure they adhere to the government’s directive of 40 % worth addition over the subsequent 10 years, though he added that worth addition, corresponding to problems with mixing must be defined additional.

“The way we see it is that CTC is going to always be an integral part of the tea industry in Kenya. The only thing we are looking at ourselves both as Kuresoi, Mbogo Tea group, and also the Independent Tea Producers is how we complement the CTCs with value-added products. The orthodox specialty teas, purple and green teas are products that are definitely increasing and becoming more popular and of course, they have a higher value and definitely they will complement our business”, he stated.

All in all, Cheruiyot famous that governments regulation has are available to assist the impartial tea producers as they’ve illustration with the tea board and among the business associations which have really are available place, noting that proper now they’re acknowledged by the East African Tea Trade Association

Robert Koech, the Managing Director of Siomo tea manufacturing facility, one other impartial producer, stated they do assist the tea laws because it has introduced again sanity to the entire business.

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However, he added that he would love the government to look into the agriculture and tea insurance policies with a purpose to optimize earnings by overcoming the bottlenecks which have dogged the tea business for many years.

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The MD insisted that the best competitor of the tea sector is water, alcohol, and juice and never KTDA, saying that ingesting of teas in international locations corresponding to Sri Lanka, India and Vietnam must be out competitors.

“If we can all work together and get the right leaf as well as embrace the culture of drinking tea, The country would earn more money in terms of foreign exchange, the farmer at the end of the day will get better pay and the government will collect more taxes”, Koech stated.

At the start of final month information from the Tea Brokers East Africa Limited confirmed that the value of the tea commodity elevated to Sh276 from Sh273 from the earlier gross sales, elevating farmers’ prospects for good earnings on this monetary yr.

In 2020, the government proposed a brand new coverage regulatory and administrative framework to reenergize the ailing tea sector within the nation, terming reforms as essential in revitalizing the sorry state within the tea sub-sector.

According to the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya, the foremost downside dealing with the tea worth chain was a dysfunctional and inefficient tea public sale system characterised by an absence of transparency, accountability, and competitors and thus susceptible to manipulation by Cartels.

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