Smallholder farmers from nine KTDA-managed factories are set to receive a batch of 36,500 reusable protective masks donated by the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) through the KTDA Foundation. The masks will be distributed in the tea catchment areas to protect farmers from the coronavirus pandemic as they go about their daily business.
Speaking when receiving the masks, KTDA Operations Director, Alfred Njagi, thanked ETP for the donation, noting that they will add on to the measures that KTDA managed factories have put in place to protect workers and farmers from the coronavirus.
“We are happy to receive the masks that will improve the safety of our farmers delivering tea to the buying centres. KTDA managed factories have put in place measures to manage the spread of the virus among the tea farming community. These efforts include encouraging farmers and clerks to wear masks, placing hand washing facilities in the buying centres and observing social distance,” he added.
ETP Program Manager for Africa, Nyambura Magochi, said that the donation will help farmers stay safe and continue tending to their tea farms which will enable them earn an income during this time.
“We are glad to partner with KTDA and KTDA Foundation to help our farmers stay safe. ETP and KTDA have a long standing partnership that spans various programmes aimed at promoting the welfare of farmers. We have separately partnered on an initiative to create an awareness of the alarming rising rate of Gender Based Violence in the society especially during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Magochi.
Also present during the handover as KTDA Foundation Manager, Sudi Matara, who reminded farmers to adhere to the set protocols in managing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and welcomed other partners to donate masks and hand washing facilities to tea buying centres to boost hygiene levels.
ETP also donated 500 bar soaps to be distributed to tea buying centres alongside the masks.
ETP is an organisation that works with tea producers to improve the welfare of smallholder farmers along the themes of health, climate change and nutrition.