Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua will meet Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) this week to push for an increase tea earnings for small-scale farmers in response to a strong US dollar against the Kenyan shilling.
Speaking on Saturday in Kigumo, Murang’a County, the Deputy President said that since KTDA sells tea in US dollars, farmers’ earnings should not be constant.
Gachagua was responding to concerns of Gatanga MP Edward Muriu, who said income of tea farmers had dipped despite the high exchange rate of the dollar.
The Deputy President committed to take up the matter to ensure the high exchange rate of the dollar matches the earnings the farmer receives for tea supplies to KTDA.
“I concur with [honourable] Muriu that if the exchange rate for the dollar is high, the same should reflect on farmers’ income because the crop trades in the USD.
“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,” said Gachagua.
As at the end of the week, a US Dollar was exchanging officially for Kshs 163.