Home Business KTDA to pay Sh25 per kilo as farmers have their way

KTDA to pay Sh25 per kilo as farmers have their way

by kenya-tribune


Kenya seeks to increase tea exports. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The board of Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) is expected to approve small-scale farmers’ monthly pay of between Sh20 and Sh25 a kilo in February next year.

This will come as a relief to growers who have for many years received Sh15 per kilo as initial payment for their produce.

The price will vary from one factory to another as it will be based on a number of factors including production efficiencies.

A top KTDA official said the board will meet in February to approve the reviews made by different factories under the management of the agency.

The agency seems to have bowed to pressure from growers who have for long been demanding for a review, threatening to abandon the company.

KTDA farmers are paid at the end of every month in what is referred to as initial payment while the second payment or bonus is made at the end of every financial year.

This has left farmers at the mercy of lenders as well as dried liquidity in the growing zones.

Some factory directors want the KTDA to pay the whole amount at the end of every year or give them interest on the money held for the entire financial year.

The move is also aimed at taming increased cases of hawking that has over the years been cutting supplies of green leaf to KTDA factories.

Incidence of tea hawking, which is more rampant in counties such as Nandi and Kisii, has been a thorny issue to KTDA as contracted farmers are lured by high instant cash offered by private companies.

Small-scale farmers were paid Sh85.74 billion in the year to June, up from Sh78.31 billion a year earlier on the back of increased production. This represented a growth of 9.4 percent.

A kilogramme of green leaf fetched an average of Sh52.51 in the last season, having dropped from Sh58.61 in 2017.

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