Tea growers urged to spend billion shilling bonus wisely

Kenya Tea Development Agency chairman Peter Kanyago. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG
Kenya Tea Development Agency chairman Peter Kanyago. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

Tea farmers have been advised to be prudent about how the Sh42 billion payments they received last week, popularly known as bonus, will be spent.

Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) chairman, Peter Kanyago, has advised growers to save enough money to cater for their children's for school fees and developments in their home areas.

Speaking in Othaya, Nyeri County, Mr Kanyago called on the famers to also be wary of conmen and twilight girls who he said were seeking to squander their money.

“Use the proceedings wisely to address basic needs and save some money for forthcoming Christmas festive season. Also remember in January you will need to pay school for students,” said Mr Kanyago.

KTDA last week released Sh42 billion to its farmers in 67 tea factories countrywide with Nyeri County receiving Sh4 billion.

Hydropower dams

Meanwhile, tea farmers in the devolved unit are expecting better returns from next year after the County's four tea factories got connected to KTDA's self-initiated hydro power project worth Sh1.7 billion.

The Iria-ini, Chinga, Gitugi and Gathuthi tea factories will cut energy costs from tea production after they get connected to Gura Hydro Power.

The facility is currently producing 6.2 megawatts.

“The project is very viable since power is produced 24 hours a day especially these days when there are rains. The factories are now using their own power from this project and the left over sold to Kenya Power #ticker"KPLC since we are connected to the national grid,” the KTDA chairman said.

The development comes a year after the agency commissioned North Mathioya Small Hydro Power to serve four other factories in Mathioya Murang’a County. The project benefited Githambo, Kanyanyaini, Kiiru and Gatunguru tea factories.

The hyrdo power plants are expected to bring the cost of producing tea down by at least 30 per cent.

KTDA says it's undertaking four similar projects in Lower Nyamindi, South Mara, Iraru and Gura in Meru and Nyeri Counties.