Business / Markets
Wednesday, 07 Sep 2016 17:25 EATmkwamboka@kenyafreepress.com
The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has announced that team farmers will earn Sh84 billion in bonuses this year. The earnings are Sh21 billion more than the gains recorded last season where the farmers earned Sh63 billion.
According to the managing director of KTDA Mr Lerionka Tiampati, this year performance had improved compared to last year mainly because of the strong dollar and good market prices, becoming the highest figure ever earned in terms of revenue.
On average, a farmer will earn Sh36 per kilogram of tea as the second payment compared to Sh27 that they earned in the previous year. The highest paid farmer will earn a net of Sh165,639 per acre in a year, an average grower will take home Sh123,324 while the lowest paid will earn a net of Sh73,414 per acre.
Farmers in Region One, which comprises Kiambu and Thika will rake in a total of Sh12 billion up from Sh8 billion last year. While those in region seven that covers Kitale and Nandi will earn Sh2.2 billion up from Sh1.3 in the previous year.
A section of farmers in the North Rift are, however, unhappy with these earnings noting that they are too low compared to other regions, also farmers in Chebut/Kaptumo will earn Sh26 per kilogram for the second payment but they are not happy either over the huge deductions that have been made on their sweat.
Some are blaming their directors on the huge deductions that they have made on the bonus, which has heavily eaten their earnings. This season’s record earnings have placed Kenya at position one on payment to farmers among the major growing nations, having waged the growers an overall average of Sh50 per kilogram, followed by Sri-Lanka at Sh48 becoming position two globally.
The writer is a journalism student at Moi University currently on internship at the Kenya Free Press, specializing in health, crime and society issues.