Kenya Tea and Development Agency (KTDA) has increased payouts to farmers in areas with rampant cases of leaf hawking in an effort to curb the practice.
KTDA national chairman Peter Kanyago said the agency resolved to pay farmers between Sh17 and Sh18 per kilo of green leaf starting July following a consultative meeting with the Agriculture ministry.
This means growers in areas that recorded a prevalence in tea hawking will receive additional pay of between Sh1 and Sh2 on top of the Sh16 they pocket monthly per kilo.
“We have conducted a survey of payment to farmers through the directors of their factories combined with one by the ministry and agreed on a price review that is best beneficial to the farmers,” he said during a meeting at Ragati Tea Factory in Nyeri.
Farmers in Murang’a North, Nyamira, Kisii, Nandi, Transzoia, Vihiga and Kakamega will receive Sh17 for their produce while those in Bomet and Kericho will receive Sh18 per kilo of green leaf.
The chairman further said that they were still consulting for farmers in Kirinyaga County while those in Kiambu, Murang’a South, Nyeri, Embu and Meru would continue getting Sh16.
“The decision to increase the payments is to avoid a split in the sale of the leaves where farmers are opting to sell their produce to hawkers,” said Mr Kanyago.
Last year, the agency lost Sh680 million to tea hawking in Mt Kenya region factories.