Farmers uprooting tea! Urgent GoK intervention at KTDA(forensic audit)needed to avert collapse coffee style.Tea exports 2nd highest foreign exchange earner after diaspora remittances.Without tea exports,the ksh will come tabling down. pic.twitter.com/qqlGjnJJOM— Paul Muite (@Paul_Muite) September 27, 2019
Kenya’s small-scale tea farmers are complaining bitterly about the low prices per kilo which they are expected to receive as bonus in 2019.
The highest price in 5 years was Ksh. 70 per kilogram of tea in 2016. In total farmers earned Ksh. 61.99 billion that year.
In FY 2017/2018, Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) paid a total of Ksh. 57.4 billion which translates to Ksh. 65.10 per kilo.
Media reports that private factories have invaded tea zones set aside for various tea factories and are buying tea leaves directly from farmers.
KTDA boss Lerionka Tiampati has dared farmers who want to uproot their tea bushes to go right ahead and do so.
“We have no say over what farmers want to do with their tea bushes. They are overall owners of the plants,” Lerionka Tiampati told the press.
Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA)
KTDA Holdings Limited provides management, processing and marketing of tea grown by small scale tea farmers in Kenya.
KTDA is owned by farmers through their respective factories. There are an excess of 600,000 farmers under company.
There are 54 factory companies working under KTDA in Kenya. These factories are corporate shareholders of KTDA Holdings whereby each owns 2% shares in KTDA.
In turn, KTDA owns numerous subsidiaries to make its work more efficient. For instance, Greenland Fedha which is a micro-finance company which issues loans to farmers.
Majani Insurance insures all KTDA assets including factories at lower than market rates.
KTDA owns a power generation company called KTDA Power Company (KTPC). This company was created to generated affordable renewable energy in the tea growing areas through hydro-power installations.
The other subsidiaries are Chair Trading Company Limited, KTDA Management Services, Kenya Tea Packers Limited and Tea Machinery Engineering Company Limited.
The last company has a mandate of fabrication, repair, installation and maintenance of tea processing equipment and machinery.
Read more here.