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Murang’a tea factories increase prices of green leaf

The boards of Gatunguru, Kiru, and Kanyenyaini Tea factories in Murang’a County have resolved to increase the prices of green leaf from Sh21 to Sh25 per kilo so as to cushion farmers from the prevailing high cost of living.

Zone Three Board Member Chege Kirundi has hailed the move, saying the previous price was little compared with the increased cost of living, which has left the majority of smallholder farmers at the mercy of loans.

Speaking in a Murang’a hotel on Saturday, he said the new price will reflect during payments for the month of December production.

“Boards of the three factories have resolved to raise the price of green leaf considering the financial challenges our farmers are experiencing,” said Chege, who is also chairman of Kiru Tea Factory.

The chairman said farmers should get their payment package without further delay, so they are not forced to source expensive credit facilities.

“As we implement the reform agenda, the farmers are duty-bound to receive their payment as soon as possible after sale,” said the KTDA Director.

Chege further observed that the increase in price will stop farmers from hawking their green leaf to private factories, saying the move has occasioned the KTDA factories to operate below capacity.

“Hawking of green has affected the operations of our factories. We hope the increased payment will stop this trend, as our farmers will get increased returns,” he added.

On his part, Gatunguru Tea Factory Chairman Mwangi Kaguma said the resolution was entered as part of the reforms the tea sector is implementing.

“We are ready to ensure the interests of the growers are addressed to bar them from selling their produce to the hawkers who have flooded areas,” said Kaguma.

However, on their part, the Gathambo Tea Factory board wants the proposed increment of Sh4 per kilo channelled towards the end-of-year  bonus.

By Bernard Munyao

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