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Commodities

Tea brokers say Munya ‘rushed’ rules spell doom for industry

tea plantation
Workers at a tea plantation. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Mombasa auction says a number of recommendations given by stakeholders were not incorporated in the tea regulations even as it faulted as boding ill for the industry.

East Africa Tea Traders Association (Eatta), which manages the Mombasa auction, argues the time given was not sufficient for the government to include all the important recommendations as some were left out leading to inclusion of punitive regulations.

“The deadline for submission of the views by tea stakeholders and the public was Thursday, April 30, 2020, having been unveiled on April 16,” said Eatta managing director Edward Mudibo.

“The CS made a presentation of the final Tea Regulations on May 21. An assessment clearly indicates that most of the views of the tea stakeholders were not taken into account. In fact, more punitive measures were introduced in total disregard of what had been presented during the public hearing window of two weeks,” he said.

Mr Mudibo said there are inadequacies in some of the proposed regulations and suggesting that they either be deleted, amended or some exemption provisions inserted before the regulations are enacted into law.

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For instance, the Eatta has faulted the rule that requires buyers licensed to do value-addition to at least 10 percent of total tea exports annually.

“The implementation of the regulation will require huge capital investments and serious government support hence cannot be left to buyers to achieve on their own within two years,” he said.

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