Smallholder tea factories announce second payment of bonuses
Smallholder tea factories have announced second payment rates (bonuses) for farmers for the financial year ending June 2021 covering the period July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
This follows meetings by factory directors from the 54 KTDA-managed factories that were held between 20th September and 1st October to review the audited 12 months accounts of their factories and declare the second payment rate.
“Factory directors have fulfilled their mandate to review the performance of their companies over the 12 months and declare the second payment rates. The factories have already directly communicated to their farmers about these rates. Generally, the rate per kilo does not vary much from those of the previous financial year” said David Ichoho, KTDA Holdings Chairman.
“Farmers will receive this payment in their accounts at the end of October 2021,” he added
This even as the Ministry of Agriculture is urging tea factories to work on the reduction of production costs.
The move is aimed at boosting farmers’ earnings in resolving a number of complaints occasionally raised by them.
Addressing farmers during a visit at Kiegoi and Muchimukuru tea factories in Igembe South and Tigania East respectively in Meru County, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said several factories were incurring huge costs in the production of a kilogram of tea, cutting the farmers’ earnings.
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“We want the department to have a budget that will ensure they work separately with an aim of coming up with solutions that will be of much benefit to our farmers all over the country,” he said.
Munya says the revitalisation of the Tea Board of Kenya (TBK) will explore the issues of tea farming which will ensure farmers get fruits of their labour.
He assured farmers of increased bonuses saying that the tea reforms were meant to wrest control of the sector from the grip of cartels that were eating off the sweat of struggling farmers.
Munya announced that the government has already put in place measures to save tea farmers from burdensome levies.
The second payment declarations come against a backdrop of an 8.3 percent drop in cut, tear and curling (CTC) tea prices at the Mombasa Tea Auction from an average of Ksh.263 last financial year 2019-2020 to Ksh.240 in the 2020-2021 financial year ending June 30, 2021.