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Tea farmers get dividends to cushion them against effects of Covid-19

Farmers allied to Githambo Tea Factory in Murang’a are slated to get early dividends amounting to Sh.17.1 million.

The  dividends are part of interest accrued from Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) subsidiary companies.

This year, the tea factory opted to pay the dividends early to cushion farmers from the hard times occasioned by covid-19. Normally, dividends are usually paid together with bonus towards the end of every year.

A Director  with Githambo tea factory, Macharia Kairu has said the interests were received from seven companies associated with KTDA.

Kairu on Tuesday said the payment would prove wrong some quarters that accuse KTDA of not paying dividends to farmers.

He noted that the dividends would be paid at nine cents for every kilo of green leaf delivered in the factory.

“A farmer who delivered 10, 000 kilos of green leaf last year, will receive almost Sh10, 000 as dividends. We have farmers who even delivered more than 50, 000 kilos of tea last year,” he explained.

Kairu observed that a total amount of Sh630 million would be paid out as dividends to farmers across the country.

He said that the annual bonus would be paid in October and this time the amount would be less compared to rate which was paid last year.

Another director Mr. John Maingi said that KTDA in consultation with coffee factories’ directors decided to do things differently due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, he noted that the dividends and their pay-out were well articulated in each factory’s accounts books.

A section of farmers expressed joy after they got the payment majority saying the money would help them handle financial challenges posed by covid-19 pandemic.

A farmer affiliated to the factory, Mwangi Githinji said he was working when he received a text message from his bank informing him that some money had been deposited into his account.

“I was delighted because these are extremely hard times with no money. The payment has helped me undertake some things that I could not have done without it,” observed Githinji.

His joy was shared by another farmer, Julius Mbogo who also said it took him time to understand that the money was for dividends from KTDA.

Mbogo lauded KTDA for separating the dividends from annual bonuses and paying them at this time.

“The organization should continue issuing the two payments separately and increase the interest rate so as to help us,” he said.

Mbogo noted that he has heard about the new tea regulations but revealed that he has limited information about it.

He asked the government to invent ways of sensitizing farmers about it and expressed hopes that the returns would also increase.

By  Bernard Munyao

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