KENYA TEA DEVELOPMENT CORP OPPOSES BILL TO RETURN IT TO GOVT CONTROL

NAIROBI– The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has voiced its opposition to a private members draft Bill seeking to return the agency into its former status as parastatal, calling it retrogressive and only meant to serve a few individuals with vested interests.

The Kenya Tea and Development Authority Bill by proposed by MP Elisha Odhiambo, among other provisions, proposes that the government takes over KTDA and re-introduces a Tea Regulator.

KTDA Chairman Peter Kanyago said the move was set to take the sector backwards and would only serve to erode the gains consolidated since its privatization 18 years ago.

He said since its transformation into a limited liability company, KTDA had been able to turn Kenya’s tea sector into a viable agribusiness with farmers in Kenya earning better incomes comparable with those of other tea-growing countries globally.

Speaking Wednesday at the Chinga Tea Factory in Nyeri, during a meeting with the leadership of tea farmers in the county, Kanyago said taking away control of the agency from the hands of the shareholders would lead to interference by State agents.

At the same time, Kanyago decried heavy taxation imposed by the by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), saying it had greatly affected their operations and income and appealed to the government to address the matter.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK