Senate recently approved the 2018 Tea Bill, which seeks to bring team farmers changes, including timely payments and less exploitation by go-betweens. The bill, approved on Monday, is expected to bring many benefits to tea farmers, including fewer brokers and faster payments.
Farmers will access up to 50% payment within 14 days after an auction, whereas the remaining amount will come at the end of the year.
Once assented by the president, the bill will decentralize management from the Kenya Tea Development Agency, giving factories control over their accounts.
The Tea bill will also reestablish the Kenya Tea Board, which will ease exploitation by brokers. The Tea Board will monitor and license agencies involved in the buying and selling of tea. It will also ensure that farmers’ management fees and levies by factories and brokers are known and fixed.
The bill’s enactment will ensure that only tea factories with 100 acres under tea bushes will be given licenses to operate. The bill will also allow the formation of the Tea Research Foundation to improve both the quality and quantity of the cash crops.