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Govt releases KES 442 million to tea farmers

07 January 2015, 18:04 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - The government has released KES 442 million to small-scale tea farmers for subsidy inputs.

The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) chairman, Peter Kanyago said the money is meant to cushion farmers against high cost of farm inputs.

Speaking at Chinga Tea Factory in Othaya, Nyeri County, Kanyago said farmers who bought fertilizer in the last year’s crop season would be refunded in the current crop payments, which are set to be released before end of January 2015.

“The release of the funds is very timely because farmers will be able to save more money. KTDA had deducted the money for the fertilizer from bonus released for the last crop but that money will be refunded,” Kanyago stated.

He said the subsidy has been paid at the rate of KES 321.35 per bag for the 1,376,387 bags of 50 kilograms purchased.

Also read: Tea prices rise at auction

Kanyago said farmers would however continue pushing the government for better subsidies similar to those in India and Sri Lanka where subsidized inputs in tea sector are up to 70 percent.

The government had promised to provide subsidy inputs to tea and coffee farmers in order to boost production and motivation.

“We are thankful to the government for keeping its promise of giving subsidized fertilizer to the small-scale tea farmers. It is our hope that in future, this would continue and possibly even at a much bigger scale,” said Kanyago.

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