Sacco plans to build Sh146m tea factory


Bomet,Kenya: Set up in 1992, it has 15,000 members with a share capital of Sh146 million

A farmers cooperative society in Bomet County is set to construct a multi-million tea factory and at least three satellite withering centres in the next one year.

Sot Tea Growers Savings and Credit Cooperative Society said it had already acquired a six-acre plot at Merigi shopping centre where the factory would be set up.

Speaking during the launch of the Sacco’s share drive, the cooperative’s Chief  Executive officer Leonard Sang’ said members proposed the initiative following congestion in the Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA)-run factories that have left farmers experiencing huge losses.

The Sacco, which was set up in 1992, has 15,000 members with a share capital of Sh146 million. It plans to invest Sh330 million in the project. Shareholders will contribute Sh120 million while the rest would be financed through loan capital.

Sang’ said already three commercial banks have expressed interest in financing the project but the Sacco has not settled on any. He added that alongside constructing the factory, the Sacco also planned to construct three satellite withering centres to enable farmers pluck their tea throughout the day.

Sacco’s chairman Zakayo Sang’ said the factory would help reduce congestion in existing KTDA factories and help guard farmers from losses. Mr Sang’ hit out at the KTDA run factories for failing to allow farmers to open accounts with the Sacco.

“We are concerned that KTDA factories are now viewing us as competitors and have been urging farmers not to open accounts with us. We appeal to the Government to intervene on this issue to enhance positive competition,” he said.

He added: “We took the initiative at the best interest of farmers who have been incurring huge losses when the KTDA factories fail to collect their produce.”

Sang’ added that the withering centres was a step forward in protecting farmers from such losses.


 He said through the initiative, tea farmers would pluck their tea throughout the week as opposed to the current practice in which KTDA-run factories dictate specific days that farmers can pluck tea.

Speaking during the function, Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto lauded the move pledging his administration would contribute another Sh40 million towards the project.

He said the county government would further construct another six satellite withering centers in addition to the three. Mr Ruto decried KTDA’s failure saying his government would advocate for the liberalisation of the tea sector.

“I will hold discussions with colleagues in other tea growing zones as we re-evaluate the role of


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