Nandi County Government has entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with tea processing factories to jointly oversee and manage collection of cess and maintenance of roads in tea growing regions within the county.
Nandi Governor Stephen Sang said the collaboration is aimed at ensuring that all feeder roads in the tea growing areas are well maintained and easily accessible throughout the year.
Speaking in his office after meeting with officials from various tea factories, Sang said the county plans to work with tea industry stakeholders to minimize post-harvest losses and enable farmers to transport their produce to different factories and tea buying centers on time while ensuring high quality green leaf.
“The roads if well maintained will enable farmers produce reach the market at less costs and farmers will be able to communicate effectively with agricultural officers on how to improve production and distribution,” he said.
Among the tea factories that signed the MOU include KTDA Chebut factory KTDA Kaptumo factory, Kaimosi Tea Estate, Emrok tea factory, Sangalo, Nandi and Mbogo tea factories, Kipchabo, Kapchorua and Siret tea factories among others.
Tea farmers welcomed the idea saying improving access roads connecting to the factories and tea buying centers would enable them to deliver their produce faster hence save time and get better returns.
They noted that roads connecting to tea growing zones have for a long time been neglected thus inaccessible especially during the rainy season.
“Tea farmers have been incurring huge losses occasioned by poor road networks during heavy downpours. The trucks that pick tea leaves from buying centers often get stuck in mud,” said Joshua Kibet a farmer from Kilibwoni ward.
By Linet Wafula