Tea farmers could soon be processing and marketing their own tea produce after Kericho County Governor, Prof. Paul Chepkwony promised to set up a Sh.150 million tea factory to process small holder tea farmers’ produce.
This will enable small holder tea farmers to sell their tea produce directly to tea buyers at a tea auction board to be set up in Kericho to cater for Kericho and Bomet counties’ tea farmers.
Prof. Chepkwony said that the factory would include production of black tea and Orthodox tea, added the construction of the new factory would help small holder tea farmer to get value for tea farming and get good earnings. He did not say when it would be constructed.
Governor Chepkwony said this last Friday when he met KTDA board of directors from Kericho in his office to discuss the falling tea prices in the world market.
He at the same time, called for the abolition of value added tax on locally produced tea, which he said would shield the farmer from further taxation and make tea farming a profitable venture.
Chepkwony has also challenged KTDA to address the cost of tea processing and production in the factories, he said that oil which is mainly used in running of the factories costs 4 times higher than fuel wood which is used for heating tea.
Tea farmers who solely depend on KTDA to process and market their produce are not a happy lot, David Koskei who sells his tea produce to Litein tea factory is considering marketing his tea from his three-acre farm produce to multinational run factories in Kericho after Litein tea factory set Sh. 14 per kilo in this year tea bonus down from Sh. 28 of last year.
By Dominic Cheres/Joyce Sang