OUTCRY

Munya promises tea farmers bonus increase next year

He accused cartels and some ousted KTDA officials of being behind low 2020-2021 bonus

In Summary
  • That the tea sub-sector has been experiencing challenges particularly with regard to diminishing earnings to tea farmers.
  • The government has laid interventions to secure the interests of Kenya smallholder tea farmers and further the national good.
EALA MP Mpuru Aburi, Agriculture CS Peter Munya and Kiguchwa MCA Linus Athinya on sample tea variety display at Michimikuru tea factory.
FARMERS OUTCRY: EALA MP Mpuru Aburi, Agriculture CS Peter Munya and Kiguchwa MCA Linus Athinya on sample tea variety display at Michimikuru tea factory.
Image: GERALD MUTETHIA

Agriculture CS Peter Munya has dismissed naysayers of tea reforms after farmers’ lamentations over declined tea bonuses.

Munya, who was accompanied by South Imenti MP Kathuri Murungi and EALA MP Mpuru Aburi, urged farmers not to uproot their tea bushes.

He accused cartels and some ousted Kenya Tea Development Agency officials of being behind low 2020-2021 bonus.

The CS spoke at Kionyo, Imenti and Githongo tea factories in Meru on Monday during an engagement with farmers on tea reforms.

He said the rationalisation and restructuring of KTDA will seal loopholes leading to wastage and poor pay to farmers.

“Do not be deceived by those telling you to uproot tea. The changes we are carrying out in the sector will enable farmers earn more money from the crop. Next year’s bonus will be a boom.

"I wish farmers get their bonuses before August 2022. We are conducting a forensic audit to wind out cartels who have god fathers. They are applying delay tactics through court cases,” Munya said.

On his part Murungi said high cost of production, high electricity bills and poor road networks in tea growing zones are a major hindrance to good tea prices.

“Idle 40 million machines where funds are allocated for maintenance especially at Kionyo, virgin lands and other unwarranted expenses make farmers suffer.

"I thank Munya for reducing fertiliser prices from Sh3,300-Sh2,600 per bag. What Munya is doing is marvellous.

"I ask our daughter Chief Justice Martha Koome to allot and order immediate expedition and determination of KTDA court cases,” Murungi said.

Aburi said being a tea farmer, his joy is going to the bank and fetching good money due to transformative money generating reforms in the sector.

“Since independence we have had so many ministers in Agriculture who received bribes at the detriment of farmers. Munya has destroyed cartels and this is why they are fighting him,” Aburi said.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)