Factory increases tea farmers' pay by Sh10
A local tea factory has announced plans to increase farmers' pay from Sh15 to Sh25 per kilogramme of green leaf.
The management of Kiru Tea Factory said the Sh10 increase was meant to dissuade the farmers from selling their produce to middlemen.
Factory chairman Chege Kirundi said the new prices had already been approved by the board.
"The move is meant to empower tea farmers economically and protect them from exploitation by middlemen. It will also save them the hustle of taking loans to educate their children by ensuring the get decent pay," he said.
At the same time, Mr Kirundi assured farmers that they would also get their annual bonus at the end of the year.
“The board has notified Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) of the intention to review payment to growers at Sh25 up from Sh15,” said Kirundi.
He added: "The additional money will help farmers meet their financial obligations following the increased cost of living. It is also unwise for the agency to withhold farmers’ dues after the sale of their produce."
This came as the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew a case against 10 small-scale tea farmers accused of tea hawking.
Resident Magistrate Agnes Gichovi, on Friday, granted the application by the DPP despite protests by Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) and Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).
Francis Njuguna and nine other members of Kangema Tea and Horticulture Association had been charged with transporting, selling, buying and dealing with tea contrary to the the Crops Act.
Kiru is the first tea factory, under the management of KTDA, to propose pay rise for farmers.
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