Written by Shillah Mwadosho
Read 821 Times
The Kenya Tea Development Agency is investing in hydroelectric power to reduce costs incurred in footing electricity bills.
Vice chairman KTDA Chebut Tea Factory Mr. John Tega said that high electricity bills was straining tea factory budgets and had consequently denied farmers an opportunity to be paid better income.
Tega said that KTDA factories had joined hands to invest in the tapping of the energy as a measure to curb further avoidable expenses.
“Mudete, Kapsara and Chebut tea factories have formed a joint company to generate its own power plant through river Yalla,” he said.
Tega said that when the hydroelectric power starts working, Chebut factory will be saving over shillings 100 million annually which they could have been paying to Kenya power and lighting Company (KPLC).
The three factories would also be able to jointly produce 2.5 mega watts from their plant.
He further said that the factories will purchase parcels of lands to invest in tree planting for commercial enterprises and as a measure to counter frost attack.
Chebut tea factory directors John Korir, Eric Korir and Paul Lelei said that Chebut factory had acquired 50 acres of land at Kesses division and another 11 acres of land at Lessos division for tree plantations.
KTDA Regional Manager Mr. Charles Manegene said that tea factories would save millions of shillings annually once the power project works.
“Farmers would gain a lot in the tea industry since costs would have been reduced,” he said.
Manegene was speaking on Tuesday during the tree planting exercise at Chebut factory where he was accompanied by Nandi Central District Commissioner Mr. Ahmed Abdullahi and Chebut production manager Mr. Emilio Nyagah.
He said that KTDA was targeting to plant 10 million trees during this rainy season across the country as a move to protect the environment and increase forest cover that would counter frost attacks in future.
(Read: KTDA plants over 50,000 seedlings on Cherangany Hill slopes
He explained that all factories had been asked to utilize the current rain by planting 150,000 seedlings of indigenous trees.
Nyagah said tea production in Nandi County was expected to improve with increased rains and asked farmers to apply enough fertilizer to improve productivity.
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