• Ichocho spoke at Ogembo tea factory in Kisii on Friday during the graduation of 320 farmers who completed training on economic empowerment and other income-generating activities.
• He encouraged farmers to replace moribund tea bushes which are 50 years and above saying they are no longer productive.
More than 20, 000 farmers across the country have so far benefitted from Kenya Tea Development Agency’s holistic empowerment program and enhanced livelihood fund.
KTDA board chairman David Ichocho said the programmes are aimed at empowering small-scale farmers.
“The farmers were trained on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and social dynamics among others. Farmers should embrace enterprise diversification and have many streams of revenue so that they improve their livelihoods,” Ichocho said.
Ichocho spoke at Ogembo tea factory in Kisii on Friday during the graduation of 320 farmers who completed training on economic empowerment and other income-generating activities.
“Today, we have visited who have visited farmers who have established tea nurseries with climate-resilient tea clones, tree and fruit nurseries, chicken hatcheries, and farmers who have embraced new production methods,” said Ichocho.
He encouraged farmers to replace moribund tea bushes which are 50 years and above saying they are no longer productive.
“We are trying to help them with drought-resistant and high yielding tea clones. These new clones will help farmers get high produce because producing one kilogram per one bush but with new clones, they can get three kilos,” he said.
During the function, KTDA showcased newly planted climate resilience tea clones that have been planted by farmers.
So far, over one million climate-resistant clones have been planted by farmers.
He said farmers are trained on how to sustain production of high quality.
“The issue of quality tea is very key so that we get good prices at the auction,” he added.
To reduce the cost of production, farmers should embrace mechanical plucking and pruning.
The training is supported by the KTDA Foundation, IDH-Sustainable Trade, Unilever and Ford Foundation’s Economic Livelihood Fund, Ethical Tea Partnerships, and Oxfam UK.
Ichocho who was accompanied by KTDA Foundation boss Sudi Matara and his board told farmers that with the reforms being implemented by the new board, their earnings will increase.