Tea farmers to earn less bonus

Mungania Tea Factory chairman Julius Munthungu (centre) and Kenya Tea Development Authority Embu County Director Samuel Ireri (right) addressing the press
EMBU, KENYA: Tea farmers in Embu County will earn less bonus this year compared to 2018.

Mungania Tea Factory chair, Julius Munthungu said this was due to increased tea production against a constant demand.

Munthungu said about 200 million kilos of processed tea from last year’s production had not been sold.

“The production has exceeded the usual quantity while no new market has been found. Until the extra 200million kilograms are purchased, low prices for tea will continue,” he said.

Munthungu explained that whereas the 2017/2018 bonus was good for farmers at Sh65.10 per kilogram, this year they foresee the pay dropping.

He, however, assured that the drop in bonus would not be too low to discourage the farmers.

He said the quantity of tea in the world was progressively increasing as more acreage is being put under the crop while the market for the beverage has not grown to commensurate levels.

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The chairman explained that each kilo of processed (black) tea is made up of four and a half kilos of green leaves, hence disparities between the price of a kilogram of tea sold at the auction at Sh350 and around Sh65 that a farmer pockets for a kilo of green leaves delivery to factories.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi  Kiunjuri had proposed that tea factories pay farmers at least Sh20 for the monthly pay.

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Tea FarmersCabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri