On Aug. 23, the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) Limited Board approved an increase in monthly green leaf payments for farmers in KTDA regions five, six and seven by 11 percent and 17 percent respectively, in a move aimed at enhancing farmers’ monthly earnings.
Through the move, farmers in KTDA region five – which covers factories in the Kericho and Bomet counties – will earn KES 20 per kilo of green leaf delivered up from KES 18 previously. Farmers in both region six – which covers factories in Kisii and Nyamira counties – and region seven – covering factories in Nandi, Trans-Nzoia and Vihiga counties – will now also earn KES 20 per kilo of green leaf up from KES 17 previously.
KTDA said the pay increase will be backdated, effective July 1, 2021 – coinciding with the beginning of KTDA’s new financial year.
The decision follows a similar move that was approved by factories in KTDA regions one to four, which resolved to increase their monthly green leaf payment to farmers from KES 16 per kilo to KES 21 starting January this year.
The pay increase for Kenyan tea farmers comes at a time when the price of KTDA teas sold at the Mombasa auction has risen from an average of USD 1.90 per kilo to USD 2.43 since the introduction of the minimum reserve price.
Commenting on the increase in monthly green leaf payments to farmers, KTDA Holdings Acting CEO, Wilson Muthaura, said the decision is in line with the organization’s continued endeavor to enhance farmers’ earnings while taking into consideration the fluid socio-economic environment.
“The new Board of KTDA Holdings is pleased to ratify the resolutions by factories in regions five, six and seven to increase the green leaf payment to farmers from KES 18 and KES 17 per kilo respectively to KES 20 per kilo across the three areas,” said Muthaura. “The move is in line with the commitment the new Board has undertaken to ensure that farmers are getting earnings that reflect their hard work, and which are responsive to their everyday social and economic needs.”
According to KTDA, the increase in monthly green leaf payment will grant farmers greater financial freedom and flexibility.
Overall, the monthly rate paid to farmers per kilo of green leaf delivered has risen by 250 percent since 1999 when farmers earned KES six per kilo. Between the years 2000 and 2009, the rate per kilo grew by 75 percent from KES six to KES 10.5.
Between December 2009 and March 2012, the rate grew by 14.3 percent from KES 10.5 to KES 12. Between April 2012 and July 2016, farmers earned KES 14 per kilo of green leaf delivered – a 17 percent rise from the previous period. From 2016 to date, the rate has risen by KES 6 and KES 7 to KES 20 and KES 21 for regions five, six, and seven; and for regions one-four.
600,000 Smallholder Tea Farmers Across Kenya
KTDA is a private company owned by about 600,000 smallholder tea farmers spread across 16 tea growing counties in Kenya. The farmers are shareholders to 54 tea companies that own KTDA (H) and its 8 subsidiary companies.
Some of the 54 tea factory companies have expanded by setting up satellite factories in their neighborhoods to accommodate the extra leaf. The satellite factories are 15, adding up to 69 the total number of tea factories owned by smallholder tea farmers.
The eight subsidiary companies owned by KTDA (H) add value to the tea value chain. These companies include Chai Trading Company Limited, KTDA (Management Services), Majani Insurance Brokers, Kenya Tea Packers Limited, Greenland Fedha Limited, KTDA Foundation, Tea Machinery and Engineering Company Ltd, KTDA Power Company Limited and KTDA (MS).
To learn more about the Kenya Tea Development Agency, visit KTDATeas.com.