Tea farmers to earn more as agency announces monthly pay adjustment

NYERI, KENYA: Small-scale tea farmers will next month get an additional Sh1 more for their produce as monthly pay, Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has announced.

Agency Chairman Peter Kanyago said the increased pay would take effect from April raising the monthly payments from Sh15 to Sh16.

Farmers have been pressing for increased pay but the small adjustment may not see many smiling all the way to the bank.

Initially the agency had said it would only consider reviews that would be within sustainable levels.

Kanyago however pointed out this was a normal periodic increment, which come after every three years.

The small increase has not pleased many farmers with some representatives expressing discontent.

Kanyago noted that international tea prices had gone down due to over oversupply of green tea leaves and the quest for increased pay was being looked at keenly.

This had made it difficult for KTDA to consider adjusting the monthly payment from Sh15 per kilo to the levels desired by farmers due to what he termed a problem with cash flow.

‘It takes almost three month to process cash, yet we pay by the 25th day of every month,” he observed.

Kanyago who was speaking at Iria –ini Tea factory in Nyeri said it requires a lot of money to effect any adjustment to the levels farmers’ desire.

He said the agency was studying the best total model of payment for farmers – whether to increase monthly and abolish bonus or increase bonus and lower monthly pay.

He said consultations with stakeholder were ongoing with the announcement of the outcome expected by June.

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