By WILLIAM MUCHIRI
Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has lauded the Kenya Kwanza Government for the radical tea reforms which have ensured more benefits for the farmers.
KTDA board member Chege Kirundi thanked the Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua for spearheading the reforms which he has been advocating for since time immemorial.
He acknowledged the DP for the stern measures he has taken to fight cartels inorder to ensure farmers receive more income.
Kirundi who is also the Chairman of Kiru Tea Factory in Mathioya constituency, Murang’a County said the ongoing Government to Government bilateral talks will greatly help farmers nationally since direct marketing will also be easier.
The board member also called upon both the national and county governments to help improve roads infrastructure in the area for easier delivery of green leaf to the factory.
Kirundi was speaking during the Annual General Meeting at the factory grounds.
The chairman also urged local tea farmers to replace the old variety with the new variety.
Kirundi noted that the old variety is very old and needs to be replaced with the new variety which is more productive.
He lamented that the old variety is over 50 years old and so there is a need to replace it to ensure more income for farmers.
“We need a good plan to replace the bushes. We can phase the old plants slowly without affecting the current production. Already, this factory has over 260,000 seedlings available for farmers replacing the trees on the upper and lower sides of the zone,” said the chairman.
He said the tree seedlings have been realized after thorough research by the National Research centres in the country like Kangaita Research Centre.
In the last financial year, Kiru Tea Factory conducted several infrastructure improvements which is geared towards better efficiencies and quality improvement.
These include; installation of solar seasoning firewood shed to enhance firewood utilization efficiency, improvement of vehicle fleet for leaf collection, procurement and installation of Orthodox Endless Chain Pressure, replacement of old woodpac boiler chimney, procurement of Orthodox rolling tables air compressor among others.