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Kenya: Tea Bill scales second reading

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The National Assembly Tuesday night passed the much-awaited Tea Bill which will see the revival of the Tea Board of Kenya and the adoption of new regulations to govern the cartel-soaked sector.

Debate on the Bill, which passed the Second Reading Tuesday, was concluded at 11 pm and will have to now go through the Third Reading where it is only scrutinized for clarity.

The Tea Bill, sponsored at the Senate by Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, was at the National Assembly for the final passing.

“We really thank God for the journey so far. This is huge,” wrote the Senator on December 1, 2020.

If the Bill is signed into law, tea brokers, buyers, and auction organizers will have to ensure that the proceeds from the sale of tea are paid within 14 days and the factory will now pay 50 percent of receipt of the sales to the farmers. This will mean that the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), which has been holding a huge chunk of the proceeds for a year, will no longer have access to the tea billions since the money will now be controlled at the factory level. The balance of the money will be paid at the end of the financial year.

Farmers will now be able to monitor their tea through the value chain.

In the passed Bill, the auction organizer will establish an electronic trading platform that is accessible to all players in the value chain. This will remove the opaque practice where farmers hardly know how their produce is sold.

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