By Osinde Leighton.
Tea farmers in the larger Gusii region have been empowered to tackle covid19 contagion and its effects through an initiative between KTDA and an organization of the Netherlands.
Over 180 farmers will benefit from the 100,000 Euros sponsorship from the FMO of the Netherlands.
The response to covid19 effects on farmers by the partners comes at a time the tea agency was mulling over reforms slapped by the government on the sub sector which are likely to affect its operations. Speaking at Nyansiongo tea factory, during the launch, Greenland Fedha Limited,a KTDA subsidiary,general manager, Anne Gathuku, explained the grant will be utilized in the procurement of protective gears against covid19.
The money will also be given out to identified farmers to start production of standardized face masks,sanitizers and hand-washing stations for sale to KTDA which will in turn distribute to the farmers. Utilization of the grant on the project will closely be monitored by the KTDA for effectiveness and achievement of the set objectives.
According to the manager,the initiative was mooted out of realization that owing to the work tea farmers engaged in they were more exposed to the pandemic.
At the occasion,50 hand washing stations and 3,000 face masks were handed over for distribution to several tea buying centres for access by the farmers. Gathuku urged the farmers to continue adhering to ministry of health protocols even as they were being served at the tea buying centres.
Beneficiaries of the grant Charles Mosota and Mary Nyaboke lauded the initiative and appealed for increased funds owing to the large number of farmers.