Kericho senator Aaron Cheruiyot has said there was need to address problems facing the tea industry so that small-scale tea farmers reap maximum benefits.
Speaking in Bureti Sub-County, Cheruiyot said it has been hard for farmers to make ends meet due to poor payment, saying he was going to fight in the Senate to ensure farmers’ concerns are addressed at all costs.
“There is a lot of exploitation in the tea industry by factory managements to an extent that the small holder farmer almost gets nothing at the end of the day. I am committed to fight at the senate until farmers’ returns improve,” said the senator.
Cheruiyot, who chairs Senate Ad hoc committee on Tea said he is determined to ensure the problems bedeviling the sector are addressed to the letter.
He said he is ready to mobilise MPs both at the Senate and Parliament to ensure laws governing the sector are enacted so the problems facing the farmers are solved once and for all.
Recently the committee visited Kericho, Kisii, Bomet and other tea growing regions to collect views from farmers on issues affecting the industry and how they should be resolved.
“We all know that tea is one of the leading foreign earners in Kenya yet the farmers are so poor and are unable to meet their financial obligations. “Some people are the ones enjoying farmers’ hard labour. So we need to come up with laws that will ensure farmers reap maximum benefits from the cash crop,” said Cheruiyot.
Konoin MP Brighton Yegon has also said he is ready to mobilise his colleagues in the National Assembly to ensure laws are enacted to cushion small-scale tea farmers from exploitation and other issues affecting the tea industry.