GACHAGUA spices up things in the tea sector as he vows to pay farmers in ‘dollars’ as RUTO struggles to strengthen the shilling – Look!

 Monday February 12, 2024 – Tea farmers may soon be smiling all the way to the bank if the proposal by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua sees the light of day.

Speaking in Kigumo, Murang’a County, Gachagua revealed the plans to President William Ruto’s government to pay tea farmers based on the dollar exchange rate. 

He noted that he would meet with the Kenya Tea Development Agency to work on frameworks for the new payment method.

It is Gachagua’s belief that this payment model will increase tea earnings for small-scale farmers as the Dollar continues to appreciate against the Shilling. 

The Deputy President wondered how tea earnings had remained constant at a time when the Shilling exchanged at an all-time high against the Dollar. 

Going forward, a higher exchange rate of the Dollar will match earnings for tea farmers according to the Deputy President. 

“If the exchange rate for the Dollar is high, the same should reflect on farmers' income because the crop trades in the USD,” Gachagua stated.

“I will convene a meeting with KTDA and explore ways of improving the earnings. 

"We cannot have a fixed rate of payment; the price should be paid at the existing exchange rate of the Dollar on the respective day.”

While the Dollar is exchanging above 160 against the Shilling, Kenyan farmers receive a paltry Ksh20 to Ksh25 for every kilogram of green tea leaves sold. 

Additionally, the bonus given at the end of the year does not reflect the current exchange rate but the quality of tea sold by the farmer. 

The Kenyan DAILY POST.

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