By Jeremy Ogolla
Small scale tea farmers in the country will this year receive 44.72 billion shillings in tea bonuses after the industry posted a record 84 billion shillings in revenue.
Kenya Tea Development Aauthority Group CEO Lerionka Tiampati says the improved earnings were as a result of improved tea prices, increased tea volumes associated with good weather as well as favorable exchange rates.
The Tea sector is one of the mainstay of the country’s economy. Various challenges like poor management, unpredictable weather condition and high cost of production have many times deterred farmer’s efforts.
This financial year, the sector recorded 84 billion shillings in revenue, a 32.2 percent increase from the 63.5 billion posted last year.
Tiampati has attributed this increase in earnings to improved tea prices, increased tea volumes as well as favorable exchange rates.
As a result, small scale tea farmers will be getting 44.72 billion shillings in bonuses at an average of 36.25 shillings per kg of green leaf compared to the 27.61 shillings per kg paid out last year.
17.27 billion shillings has already been paid out to farmers as monthly payment. The tea agency however decried the soaring cost of production which he says has continued to rise as a result of the high cost of energy, labor, financing and transport.
281.2 million kgs of made tea was produced from 1.23 billion kgs of green leaf delivered to KTDA, a 16.89 percent increase from the same period last year.