By Kamundia Muriithi
Tea farmers in Embu County have decried the drop in Bonus payments as they blamed the same to poor management and dragging of implementation of reforms in the Tea sector.
The Farmers, who received their awaited 2020-21 bonus at a lower rate, said their dues should have been higher compared to last year, stating that they didn’t see a good reason for a lowered rate this year.
Embu County has three factories which announced a drop in the bonus for the second year running.
Rukuriri tea factory issued a bonus of Sh30.10, a drop by Sh0.80 from last year, Mungania tea factory, announced Sh28.10 a Sh1.90 drop and Kathangariri paid at a rate of Sh31.50, recording a drop of Sh4.35.
Tea farmers who have been pushing for fast tracking of reforms in the sector had looked forward to an improved bonus for individual farmers.
Embu secretary Tea Producers of Kenya Mr. Joseph Njeru said despite the low green leaf delivery in tea, the money disseminated should have reduced by individual farmers’ delivery, not by the overall delivery.
“The money disbursed should reduce by individual farmers’ delivery and not by the overall delivery,” Njeru said.
Reforms spearheaded by the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and endorsed by the National Assembly envisaged to attain Sh50 per kilo in 2021-22 year bonus.
However, at the Mombasa Tea Auction, there was a drop of 8.3 percent drop in CTC tea prices from an average of Sh263.23 last financial year (2019-2020) to Sh241.11 in the 2020-2021 financial year.
The growers are set to receive payments in their respective accounts by the end of October, according to Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) Holdings chairman David Ichoho
Ichoho however, said the rate per kilo do not vary much from those of the previous financial years.
A KTDA report of September 16 showed a drop in this year’s green leaf delivery of 1.28 billion kilos from last year’s 1.45 billion kilos translating to a 14 per cent decrease.