The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) chairman Peter Kanyago and the CEO Lerionka Tiampati are set to resign soon, Kahawa Tungu can authoritatively report.
This follows the enactment of the Tea Act 2020, that saw several changes take effect in the tea sector.
The Act reestablished the Tea Board of Kenya (TBK) and the Tea Research Foundation (TRF), two institutions dissolved in 2014 in favor of an Agriculture Fisheries and Foods Authority that managed eight sectors including coffee, tea, coconut, cotton, sisal, sugar, and pyrethrum.
Under the raft of changes brought about by the Act, farmers will be paid directly through the direct settlement schemes (DSS) after the sale of their tea and coffee.
Tea brokers, buyers, and the tea auction in Mombasa must remit sales within 14 days, and tea factories are required to pay 50 percent of sales direct to farmers. Tea farmers also earn an end-of-harvest-year bonus.
Following the changes, KTDA and the Ministry of Agriculture have been rendered almost useless, with reports indicating that most company secretary functions at KTDA holding have been taken to the subsidiaries.
“Marketing Department within KTDA is being overhauled to bring in fresh ideas on how to sell our teas. KTDA Holdings Directors holding positions in subsidiary companies have been asked to resign. We will ask for CR12 of these companies next week to confirm that they indeed resigned in compliance with the Tea Act,” says Irungu Nyakera, a member of the National Tea Sector Steering.
Nyakera, in a Twitter post, also revealed that farmers will be paid their December payments under the 50 percent provision that was in the Act, before January 26.
It is reported that the nation’s 700,000 tea farmers generally support reforms to right perceived wrongs they say are perpetuated by KTDA.