Tea farmers who market their produce through the Kenya Tea Development Agency factories will this year receive on average 17.5 percent more earnings despite revenue from the sale of tea falling by 5.9 billion shillings to 78.3 billion shillings.
KTDA says farmers will on average this year pocket 58 shillings and 81 cents per kilo, which is 8 shillings and 55 cents more than what they received last year.
Farmers who supply Mununga Factory in Kirinyaga County will receive the highest amount of 76 shillings per kilo this year while those in Kapsara in Trans Nzoia will get the lowest amount totaling 35 shillings per kilo.
A severe drought which hit the country late last year and early this year hurt tea production with the green leaf supplied to factories affiliated to KTDA dropping 20 percent.
Tea production dropped from 1.235 billion kilogrammes to 976.3 million kilogrammes in the year to June this year occasioning an increase in unit production cost since most factories were forced to operate below their installed processing capacities.
Kenya Tea Development Agency CEO, Lerionka Tiampati says: “Despite the low volumes, a majority of the factories paid more per kilogram of green leaf compared to last year, which was driven by fairly good prices for the second half of the year at the international markets, as well as improved efficiency in our managed factories.”
On average the over 611,000 farmers will market their produce through factories affiliated to KTDA will earn a total of 58 shillings and 81 cents per kilo of the green leaf they supplied.
This represents a 17.5 percent increase on the 50 shillings and 26 cents that they were paid last year. Farmers are expected to receive different amounts based on the quality of tea they supplied.
Those who market their tea through Mununga Factory in Kirinyaga County will be the happiest lot since they will earn the highest amount totalling 76 shillings per kilo this year.
On the other hand, those who sell their tea through Kapsara Factory in Trans Nzoia County will earn the lowest amount totaling 35 shillings per kilo.
The farmers are reaping from improved prices after a kilo of processed tea on average fetched 314 shillings this year, up from 300 shillings, last year. KTDA says it takes about four-and-a-half kilos of green leaf to process a kilo of made tea.