Tea farmers in Nandi who supply their tea leaves to Kipchabo Tea Factory have protested the company’s directive to reduce the tea price from Kshs 30 per kilogram to Kshs 19 per kilogram without their consent citing lack of communication. Led by their spokespersons Gideon Too and Shadrack Kosgey among others, the farmers protested from the Chomisia trading centers heading to the factory grounds demanding answers from the management on how the prices reduction was arrived at without their consultation.
Speaking to West FM, the farmers lamented that since the inception of the said factory, the management went into an agreement with tea farmers to supply their green leaves to the company at a cost of Kshs 30 per Kilo but thereafter, the company called for the stakeholders meeting citing poor tea prices in tea markets agreeing to supply it at a cost of Kshs 27. They unanimously agreed the price due to the situation but thereafter the company is alleged to have been reducing the buying price each time without notifying farmers, a situation which has angered them and forced them to fight for their rights. “Initially the agreed agreement price was Kshs 30 per kilo but then it was reduced to Kshs 27 and from there, it has been reduced continuously to Kshs 24, Kshs 22 and now it’s at Kshs 19 without any consultation which is totally unacceptable,” they said.
Their plea is to have the tea price reverted back to the prior agreed price of Kshs 30 per kilogram if the company wants them to continue supplying their tea leaves. They have blamed the factory’s top management especially the general manager Mr Pius Kirui. When contacted for a comment concerning the claims, Mr Kirui denied the claims saying he is unaware of such allegations even after the company issued notice posters to each tea buying center notifying about the drop in tea prices.