Tea farmers in Embu will be smiling all the way to the bank early July, following announcement of the highest annual bonus ever, in over five years.
Management Boards of the three tea factories in the County namely; Mungania, Kathangariri and Rukuriri, two days ago declared a pay out of Sh40, Sh39.50 and Sh 41.50 per kilo respectively.
The money expected to be wired to individual farmers accounts by July 10, represent an increment of 40 per cent from what they received last year.
Cumulatively, each farmer will take home not less than Sh60 as the bonus will be paid alongside the monthly pay of green leaf delivered this month that is paid at an average rate of Sh21 per kilo.
KTDA Board Member representing the tea zone, Enos Njeru, attributed the improvement to the reforms instituted by the government, to streamline the multi-billion-shilling industry.
Njeru said the reforms that among other measures have weeded out middlemen in the crop value chain, thus restoring the lost glory of the sector.
And to further cushion farmers from exploitation, the reforms has enhanced governance in the sector, set up minimum reserve price and reduced operations costs.
He urged farmers to use the money prudently to improve the welfare of their families, especially now that many people were still reeling from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic, even as the situation gets further aggravated by the current biting inflation.
Local factory managers are now calling on famers to double their efforts to increase production in terms of quantity and quality, so as to boost their income.
“We are hoping for better times ahead if what our famers received this year is anything to go by,” said Mungania Tea Factory Chairman, Mwenje Njeru.
On fertilizer, he said famers will receive the commodity late due to disruptions in the procurement process occasioned by the war in Ukraine and Russia, which are the main sources of the fertilizer.
He said they were projecting to receive the commodity early October that will retail at Sh5, 700 for a 50-kilo bag.
“Farmers will be paying Sh3, 000 per bag, which will be deducted from the bonus payout and we are hoping that the government will take care of the deficit,” he said.
By Samuel Waititu