Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina has now pointed an accusing finger at cartels for the ailing the tea sector.

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In an interview with Daily Nation on Tuesday, Maina said that tea farmers have continued to face endless challenges amid government promises.

Maina said that the cartels have forced farmers to contemplate uprooting the plant. He also said that the cartels are behind the high fertilizer price, cost of transportation of tea and overpricing of insurances. 

He also asked the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) to intervene in the woes of the farmers. Maina also said that the board should put in place different measures to transform the sector. 

“KTDA is also operating as an opaque organisation and has refused to be audited by the public Auditor General. These are the issues that have brought the tea prices down and not the casual reason given by KTDA management of over-production. If it was over-production there would be an outcry from growers worldwide. Why is it that it is only Kenyan farmers who are suffering?” posed the Nyeri Senator.

He noted that KTDA has failed farmers in their bid to transform their lives. He further said that unless the government intervenes, tea farmers will have no reason to continue planting the crop.

The remarks come after Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria sued KTDA citing that it has frustrated tea farmers in his county.