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Visit by the CS, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MOALF) Hon. Willy Bett

On Tuesday 12th April 2016, EATTA hosted the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Hon. Willy Bett, the Acting Interim Head of Tea Directorate Mr. Samuel Ogola, and Member of Parliament for Makueni as well as member of the Parliamentary Committee for Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives Hon. Daniel Maanzo.

This is the first visit by the Cabinet Secretary since he was appointed to the position in December 2015. On hand to meet with the CS were EATTA Board members including Mr. Jacob Kahiu, Mr. Gideon Mugo, Mr. Simon Gikanga and Mr. Ben Gitonga.

In his remarks to those present, Mr. Bett said that he had not received the final report of the task force constituted to look into the tea industry. He said that the Government was keen to adopt the recommendations in the task force in as far as it would be of benefit to the tea producer. He said that he was looking into the recommendation that the Ad Valorem Levy be reduced from 1% to 0.75%. He asked for a confirmation that the benefit of the reduction of the levy would accrue to the producer.

The CS was informed that of fact that the Mombasa Auction was a multi origin market, any tax subjected to teas from one origin in exclusion to other origin teas will disadvantage that tea. A buyer will discount the cost of the tax on Kenyan tea to cover the amount they will need to pay.

The CS wanted to know why the prices had been declining since the end of January. It was explained to him that the decline in prices is as a result of the increase in volume offered that is up 19% compared to the same period in 2015.

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