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Tea Farmers Demand a Reduction of Management Levy

FARMERS want the management agency fee that the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) charges factories reduced.

They said the 2.5 per cent charge on net sales is too high and should be reduced to 0.5 per cent as it eats into their returns.

The levy is charged on 66 tea factories in the country, which are owned by farmers.

Addressing shareholders at Makomboki tea factory during a general meeting, Zone 11 KTDA board member Erastus Gakuya however said KTDA is working on reviewing the levy.

He said the levy was previously seven per cent and was reviewed downwards after farmers complained.

“We are holding talks with various stakeholders to see if we can have the levy reduced farther,” Gakuya said.

Gakuya, who is also the Makomboki chairman, said last year the factory paid KTDA Sh29,591,566 as compared to the previous Sh 36,917,435.

Meanwhile, farmers affiliated to the factory failed to approve one of the recently elected directors citing irregularities during his election.

They said John Kamau Mwangi’s election was illegal as his competitor Samuel Kiwiri was barred from presenting his nomination papers to the vetting committee.

Mwangi was elected unopposed at Gatia-ini Zone as supporters of his rival protested his endorsement during the general meeting and demanded a repeat of the polls.

Gakuya had a hectic time controlling the farmers, who shouted him down demanding fresh elections.

He directed officials from KTDA headquarters to explain the policy and requirements for a new poll to the farmers.

“KTDA officials will have a meeting with the aggrieved farmers to have the matter settled as Kiwiri writes an official complaint letter to the board,” Gakuya said.

Credit: Anonymous

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