Agriculture CS Munya visits Bomet as Governor tours Iran on tea sales mission
Agriculture cabinet secretary Peter Munya will tomorrow Monday tour tea factories in Bomet County as he seeks to assure small tea farmers from the region of better fortunes from the crop even as reforms in the sector take shape.
The CS has been on a weeklong visit to tea factories in the West of Rift which includes Kericho, Kisii and Nyamira respectively.
Munya is expected to tour nine factories in the region.
His visit will, however, come at a time Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok is out of the County.
Barchok has been opposed to the new tea regulations and is currently out of the country in Iran, looking for reliable markets for teas produced from the county.
The County chief has been rooting for the sale of tea directly, which has been abolished in the new tea regulations.
In a show of relentless in his effort, Barchok moved to the High Court to challenge the section and has been on record defending the direct sales, saying tea farmers stand to reap maximum benefits out of it as compared to passing through the Mombasa auction.
“Tea factories should be allowed to market their commodity without being restricted to sell through the Mombasa auction because we know there are tea brokers who collude to swindle money which should be directed to the farmers,” Barchok said during a past event.
Last month, the government set a minimum reserve price at the auction in which tea should be sold for in a move aimed at cushioning the smallholder farmers against the unsteady and declining pay.
This, according to Munya, has been fruitful and will see farmers reap immensely in the next bonus pay and subsequent years.
Three months ago, Barchok flagged off tea to Iran as a trial in his determination to bypass the hurdle and sell the tea directly to a foreign country.