Small Scale Tea Growers To Reap Huge Bonuses In July 2022

By Lynnet Okumu / Published June 29, 2022 | 2:47 pm




KEY POINTS

As compared to previous years when tea growers were paid in October, Munya said that the new reforms introduced in the sector have ensured the growers will be fully remitted within three months of every financial year.


Tea farmers Indigenous tea picker picking tea.

KEY TAKEAWAYS


Some of the reforms creating the current balance in the sector include the setting of the reserve price which has facilitated the initial green leaf monthly payments to the smallholder tea grower from 17 shillings to between 20 and 21 shillings per kilogram.


According to the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, tea growers, especially the small-scale ones under the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), are expecting huge bonuses from the sale of their tea come July 2022.

“This year’s bonus is projected to be the highest to be paid to tea farmers across the tea growing counties since 2016.

“The main bonus will be paid in full by July 8 in line with the tea reforms introduced in the Tea Act, 2020”, Munya stated.

In Kirinyaga County, for instance, the small growers under the five tea factories are expecting to boon up to between 31 to 35.50 shillings per kilo worth of bonuses as compared to 21 shillings in 2021.

Speaking to tea farmers in Ndia, KTDA board member John Mithamo revealed that the highest pay was Mununga which will pay 35.50 shillings followed by Ndima and Kimunye tea factories which will pay 34, Thumaita at 32.50 shillings, and finally, Kangaita will pay 31 shillings.

As compared to previous years when tea growers were paid in October, Munya said that the new reforms introduced in the sector have ensured the growers will be fully remitted within three months of every financial year.

Some of the reforms creating the current balance in the sector include the setting of the reserve price which has facilitated the initial green leaf monthly payments to the smallholder tea grower from 17 shillings to between 20 and 21 shillings per kilogram.

In addition, the price stabilization framework works well in shielding the tea growers from price fluctuations that have for a long time led to unsustainability in the industry.

The new tea laws have since tamed the efforts of the tea brokers trying to take over the sector at the expense of the impoverished farmer. This is projected to save tea farmers over 1 billion shillings annually and will result in more earnings.

To reduce the ever-high cost of production of tea, the government has made certain provisions such as the supply of subsidized fertilizer.

The Ministry of Agriculture through the Tea Board of Kenya has also finalized the guidelines meant to direct the use of mechanical tea harvesting to save on the high labor cost.

Moreover, KTDA is planning to restructure its operations to reduce costs and wastage to pass that cost saving to the farmer in form of reduced Management Agency fees.






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