The Kenya Tea Development Agency has said that the highest paid tea farmer at Kimunye Tea Factory in Kirinyaga County will earn Sh47.40 per a kilogramme while the lowest paid at Tombe factory in Kisii County will earn Sh22.50 per kilogramme.
KTDA said it had earned a record Sh84 billion following high prices in the international markets thus the payments were raised accordingly. The payment is a 56 per cent increase from the Sh 28.7 billion, meaning farmers will earn Sh44.72 billion next month.
This is the breakdown of payments:
Out of Sh84 billion, Sh61.99 billion (75 per cent) has been partly paid out to farmers at an average price of Sh50.26 per kilogramme of green leaf delivered to KTDA-managed factories.
The balance of 25 per cent covers production costs.
Farmers have already received Sh17.27 billion monthly pay at a flat rate of Sh14 per kilogramme of tea, with the remaining Sh44.72 billion expected as bonus at an average of Sh36.26 per a kilogramme of green leaf.
But KTDA CEO Lerionka Tiampati and the KDTA Holdings chairman Peter Kanyago said besides the increased earnings, there has been some disquiet from a section of farmers that has led to violent demonstrations. Such demos, they said, led to an indefinite closure of Thumaita factory in Kirinyaga.
But the two officials read political interference and negative influence of social media in the undercurrents.
Destroying factories “This has been a good year and as we have shown, farmers in all our factories will get an increment despite the false information being peddled on social media and perpetrated by disgruntled politicians,” said Kanyago.
“I urge our farmers not to listen to these falsehoods by disgruntled elements mostly seeking for positions of MCAs and directors in the factories. The figures we have announced today are the real prices. By boycotting and destroying factories, you are losing more money Tiampati echoed Kanyago sentiments, saying falsehoods on social media are to blame for unrest over bonus prices.
Farmers however told Investment News that there was a lot of theft in the KTDA and various factories. “Many times they will undergrad our tea so they can earn more than the farmers,” they said, pointing to factory official who became millionaires overnight. “Just where do they get the money from?” they asked urging for investigations.