Tea farmers need extension services to tell quality produce, says Cherargei

Tea farmers. Photo/Courtesy

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei has said tea farmers in the region need tea extension services in order to ascertain the quality of tea that is required. He said he’ll be passing the message to the County government and that KTDA officers have been rejecting tea from farmers based on an unproven eye test instead of taking it to labs or allowing for more scrutiny. Focus has shifted to the tea industry in Kenya with the government releasing a raft of new regulations meant to boost the sector. Some Counties in Western where tea is grown include Trans Nzoia, Kakamega, Nandi.

His sentiments come after the Council of Governors on Monday opposed the new tea regulations, mainly opposing the ban on direct sale of tea as provided for by the Tea Regulations (2020). The national government, as part of new measures, had banned direct sale of tea to international markets, saying the process has to be done through the Mombasa auction. Speaking in Nandi, Senator Cherargei has affirmed that leaders will work very hard to ensure issues of farmers are addressed and that the government should also cater for them, “I urge the government to take tea farmers with the seriousness they deserve, they are top three foreign exchange earners.”

He said some tea farmers are on the end of unfair market prices and earnings, “You find a company being run in Dubai yet farmers here don’t get enough money. Bonuses also aren’t the same in Nandi and a certain region in Kenya I don’t want to say,” he stated. He added that the tea farming industry should be taken care of, given that the maize farming and milk industry collapsed and the sugar industry is in a critical stage.