Nairobi Star: Tea farmers get Sh25.4bn record bonus

THE Kenya Tea Development Agency has announced the highest ever earning for tea farmers of Sh25.4 billion which rivals any payout for small holder tea farmers in the world.

The Sh25.4 billion represented a 28 per cent increase in earnings for this year compared to Sh 19.7 billion reported last year.

In what is a record year for small scale farmers the average rate payable per kilo of green leaf delivered to factories increased from a total average of Sh24.6 in 2008 to an average of Sh35.1 this year.

Managing director Lerionka Tiampati said the record earnings by KTDA's half a million farmers are the reward of efficient factory processes, improved auction prices caused by high global demand that has been driven by prolonged drought and favourable interest rates.

"Exporters have enjoyed the weakening of the shilling and we hope it remains below the Sh70 mark," said Tiampati.

He said of the Sh25.4 billion total payment Sh7.7 billion has already been paid out to farmers at a monthly rate of Sh10.50 per kilo of green leaf over the year. The balance of Sh 17.7 billion will now be released as second payment, commonly referred to as the 'bonus' will be paid out in October.

This represents a significant increase over the Sh 11.3 billion earned last year.

At Sh35.16 per kilo of green leaf, KTDA is so far the best payer in the world.

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