The Bad State Uhuru & Ruto Left Nandi Hills

When President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and a host of Jubilee leaders visited Nandi County last week, residents were full of anticipation. Even before the dust raised by their choppers settles down, mixed reactions have emerged. The residents had hoped that President Kenyatta would use his maiden tour of the region to address the plummeting tea prices, stalled roads and other development projects.

Chesumei MP Elijah Lagat, in whose constituency Uhuru launched the Nyayo Tea Zonesmanaged Kipchabo Tea factory, opened the lid on their grievances by asking the President to address the dropping prices of tea. But a disappointed Lagat says the President did not respond positively to the region’s concerns, instead choosing to speak of subsiding fertiliser.
“He was not clear at all. The real and greatest challenge is occasioned by Kenyan brokers who import cheap and low quality tea from Sri-Lanka, India and Malawi that they blend with
local tea for export, creating a false impression of the real quality of our tea in the international market,” Lagat claimed.

He further argued that the brokers in Mombasa were earning higher profit margins at the expense of the farmers because of the Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA’s) laxity as the farmers’ sole broker.

“I wonder what happened to the promise by the President to issue a directive for formation
of a committee to look at the issues ailing the tea sub-sector,” he questions.

“Farmers in this region are dedicated to agriculture but the declining tea and milk producer prices and stalled road projects are discouraging them from expanding the sector,” Lagat said.

Lagat and his Nandi Hills counterpart Alfred Keter had prior to the presidential visit, said the moment would present the best opportunity to air grievances that have for long choked Nandi residents. 

Road works

The legislator had said some of the concerns they wanted addressed included speedy construction of Chepterit/Baraton, Mosoriot/Kabiyet and Chepterwai roads, whose ground breaking ceremony were officiated by former President Mwai Kibaki. 

Photo Courtesy - UhuRuto

“Farmers have been hard working to produce crops to boost the country’s food security and they should be supported by the Government through opening up of roads in the region,” he said.

{The Falling of Tea Prices}

However, when Uhuru addressed the crowd, he was non-committal and instead chose his words carefully on tea prices, saying it would be addressed. He tasked key agricultural agencies to concentrate on value addition.
Tinderet MP Julius Melly, however, said he is confident the Government would address the
plight of tea farmers in the region. “As a tea farmer, I am confident the government will address all concerns of the sector. I trust they will do it,” said Melly.

He said there is need to identify new markets in regions, which have not been tea destination especially in South East Asia and other parts of Europe. Melly also said there was need to encourage local consumption of tea, adding Kenyans only consume below 10 per cent of locally produced tea.

The legislator also said he would support efforts that will ensure farmers are paid bonus for their produce and especially by multinational tea firms.

Mr Wilson Tuwei, the chairman small scale tea outgrowers in Nandi said: “We are happy the
Government has heard farmers’ concerns. This is a move in the right direction”.

“When Uhuru was Finance minister and Ruto was in the Agriculture docket, tea prices went up and cost of inputs including fertiliser dropped. I trust the Government will, in the long run, address the price woes in the sector,” added Tuwei.
At the same time, he said there is need for massive campaigns to encourage Kenyans to consume tea produced locally. 

“Tea and tourism are the leading foreign earners in the country but it is unfortunate Kenyans don’t consume much of it and most go to foreign markets,” he added.

By: The Standard Digital. Writer: Titus Too. (Here).

I conquer with Titus Too, Journalist of Standard Media that Nandi Hills is unsatisfied with how Uhuru and Ruto are handling Nandi County issues. Ruto has been doing nothing except calling names MP Alfred Ketter for Nandi Hills Constituency when he calls for accountability of the national government to national resources.

Tea is indeed the highly income generating activity in Nandi County, Nandi Hills and also a major contributor of Kenya’s revenue… yet the government have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to this great region with the Great Fields of Fortune“, now under risk of being The fields of loses.

See also :- The Letter For Alfred Ketter

See also: A Letter For Alfred Ketter

Shame! Ruto Supporters Diminishing in Nandi County

Title Deeds – Is This an Empty Promise?

Massive Tea Plantations in Pictures. Great View Points


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