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Sh671 million mini bonus for Murang’a tea farmers

Smallholder tea farmers affiliated to the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) factories in Murang’a are slated to earn more than Sh671 million in mini bonus.

The money, which will be paid starting this week, is part of Sh5.5 billion which was announced by KTDA on Thursday last week. The payment of the mini bonus has been praised by the farmers affiliated to 10 KTDA tea factories in Murang’a.

A payment schedule seen by KNA reveals Ngere Tea Factory located in Gatanga Sub County will get the lion’s share of the amount where its farmers will receive Sh137.7 million. The farmers affiliated to the factory will be paid the bonus at a rate of Sh10 per kilo of green leaf delivered.

The mini bonus was announced by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi accompanied by KTDA directors led by their Chairman David Ichoho, amid complaints by a section of farmers questioning the slow pace of implementing the recently introduced reforms in efforts to revamp the sub sector.

Farmers affiliated to Makomboki, Nduti, Gacharage, Njunu and Githambo tea factories will be paid Sh7 per kilo of delivered green leaf. Those affiliated to Kanyenya ini, Kiru and Gatunguru tea factories will get their mini bonus at a rate of Sh6 per kilo.

Chairman of Aberdare Tea Farmers association, Wambugu Gachunji who spoke to KNA through phone lauded the move by KTDA to release the awaited mini bonus at the beginning of the year.

The farmers, he observed, breathed a sigh of relief after receiving the payment alongside their monthly dues for the green leaf delivered.

“Payment of the mini bonus is timely as the farmers are preparing to take their children to school in a week’s time,” said Gachunji, a farmer affiliated to Kanyenyaini tea factory.

Chairman of Gatunguru tea factory Samson Kaguma on his part said the payment will support the tea growers to support their families this time when the cost of living is high.

“The mini bonus is an initial payment made by KTDA after the calculations were done by the board of management at the factories,” said Kaguma.

Milka Njeri, a farmer affiliated to Kiru tea factory in Mathioya Sub County said the move to release the payment was timely.

“We were worried over the delay to release the payment with many of us opting to go for loans from the commercial banks,” Njeri who looks forward to getting over Sh75, 000 in the mini bonus said.

Tea growers from the larger Mt Kenya region will receive Sh1.76 billion in the mini bonus for more than 366 billion kilos of green leaf delivered in the period between July 1 and December 3, 2022.

By Bernard Munyao

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