On Wednesday, the 27th of September, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua hosted a gathering at his official residence in Karen, bringing together directors and key stakeholders of the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).
The primary agenda of this meeting is to deliberate on enhancing this year’s bonuses for tea farmers.
In a social media update, the DP expressed his contentment with the encouraging advancements observed in the tea sector. He credited this progress to direct interactions with farmers and stakeholders, with a particular focus on the review and approval of the audited financial accounts for the year ending June 2023.
“We will continue with this mode of engagement for better pay for the over 750,000 tea smallholders in the country. To maximize earnings for farmers, such continuous engagement and service to them is key,” Gachagua stated.
This gathering comes in response to concerns raised by tea farmers regarding the withdrawal of licenses from companies that were purchasing their crops at unfairly low prices.
It’s worth mentioning that several tea factories operating under the KTDA umbrella have already announced increased bonuses for farmers.
These bonuses, calculated per kilogram, are slated to rise, with farmers expected to earn between Ksh. 45 and Ksh. 50 per kilogram.
The boost in earnings can, in part, be attributed to the depreciation of the Kenyan shilling against the US dollar, which has had a positive impact on the industry.
Earlier this week, Gachagua expressed the government’s willingness to engage in discussions with stakeholders in the coffee and tea sectors.
However, there is a notable precondition for these discussions: these industry stakeholders, often referred to as “cartels,” must be willing to enhance farmers’ incomes.