Middlemen are exploiting tea farmers in Kisii and Nyamira counties. Kisii Governor James Ongwae told an ad hoc Senate Committee on Tea that hawking had become rampant. He said middlemen were buying green tea from farmers and selling it to factories. The farmers lose out on bonus. Ongwae said multinational companies were to blame.
“The middlemen are buying the green tea at throw-away prices,” Ongwae told the committee chaired by Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot. He spoke at the Kisii Cultural Hall during a meeting with tea industry players.
Ongwae urged the senators to pass a bill prohibiting tea hawking to protect factories and farmers. He said multinational firms were encouraging hawking because they lack enough tea for processing. Cheruiyot said cartels had infiltrated the tea industry.