Tea farmers were paid SG 62.89 billion for their produce last year which was a 42 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).
KTDA chairman David Ichoho made the revelations during the KTDA Factory Directors’ Conference held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi was the chief guest during the event where he pledged to support the Board as it reforms the sector.
Ichoho said the total payment to farmers was Sh62.89 billion compared to Sh44.15 billion last year, an increase of 42 percent.
Further, he said the factories realized total revenues of Sh93.03 billion compared to Sh69.92 billion last year, an increase of 33 percent at average prices of US$ 2.76 and US$ 2.18 respectively.
The average cost of production increased by two percent from Sh84.76 to Sh86.04 per kilogram of made tea.
Ichoho said the reforms implemented by the Board have largely started to bear fruit and include the introduction of a minimum price, awarding a fertilizer subsidy, increase in monthly payments to farmers, payment of bonuses in July as opposed to October each year and reduction of interest rates by Greenland Fedha.
He said the Board is concerned by the ever-increasing cost of production, especially in light of the ongoing geopolitical challenges that have caused a sharp increase in fuel and electricity prices.
“We are initiating hydro and solar energy projects to reduce costs of energy and increase efficiency in factories. To manage costs of finance, we are working with financiers to get operational costs at better terms to reduce the burden on tea farmers who are the owners of the factories,” he said.
He said despite all the challenges, the Board was working hard to deliver to farmers and will remain focused on its mandate.