Tea farmers from Kimunye and Thumaita tea factories have been provided with test weighing stones which they will use to ascertain the actual weight of their tea produce.
The 180 stones for the two factories were procured by the area Member of Parliament Githinji Gichimu after farmers complained of losing their produce through faulty weighing machines.
Gichimu while delivering the stones said farmers will use them to ascertain that the weighing machines have not been tampered with as has been happening before.
He said farmers have been complaining of losing up to two kilograms through the machines used by the tea factory clerks.
Gichimu said farmers could not understand why the factory weighing machines continued to be used even when faulty and promised to take the stones for certification after one year to make sure they reflected the right weight.
“I have brought the stones to assist the farmers and not for politics. I am only responding to the farmer’s concern,” Gichimu said adding farmers must be accorded the right environment as they pick and deliver their tea produce.
He said the exercise of ascertaining the machines are not manipulated will be operated by the tea collection center committees who will also be the custodians of the weighing stones.
Gichimu said an impromptu testing of the machines used by the two tea factories by officials from the weight and measures proved that in deed the machines were faulty.
He said already some few employees from the two factories who were found operating the manipulated machines were under investigation and will be charged if found culpable
The MP said he has liaised with KTDA officials and they are not opposed to the introduction of the weighing stones.
A senior officer from the department of the weight and measures from Nairobi Joseph Gitonga who accompanied Gichimu said after carrying out some tests most of the weighing machines used by the factory management at the tea buying center were found to reduce the weight by two kilograms.
Gitonga said the factory managers claimed they ascertained the machines were in good condition before they were taken to the buying centers but the same were found faulty at the buying centers, indicating interference between the factory and the buying centers.
By Irungu Mwangi