Tea farmers in the country have been urged not to lose hope following reduced bonus they received this year.
Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) national chairman Peter Kanyago on Tuesday said tea prices had improved from the month of October.
“The low prices persisted in the months of July, August and September. However in the month of October and now November tea prices have performed very well,” Kanyago stated.
He was speaking at Ragati Tea Factory in Mathira constituency, Nyeri County, during a farmers’ Annual General Meeting.
He added, “If things (prices) continue like they are today, there is hope for the future”.
The chairman asked farmers not to lose hope because tea is one of the best cash crop compared to others.
Kanyago said farmers are paid monthly and on time adding that those in East of the Rift Valley like Nyeri are paid Ksh 16 per kg, those in Kisii Ksh 17 and farmers in Kericho and Bomet Ksh 18 respectively.
He urged farmers to utilise fertilisers the agency offers at low rates compared to the subsidised one from the government, adding that KTDA fertilisers sell at Ksh 1,900 compared to Ksh 2,500 subsidised ones.
Speaking during the same occasion, Ragati Tea factory chairman Eustace Karanja stated that the facility was being modernised to compete favourably with other modern factories. Ragati is one of the oldest tea factories in the country.
Karanja noted that the modernisation programme would focus on the continuous withering facility, sorting area and weighing bridge to reduce costs
He added that the programme would cost the factory Ksh85 million but would not affect farmers’ earnings.