Tea is a major cash crop earner for small scale farmers in our county who are affiliated to the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).
Thousands of small scale tea farmers in the Northern regions of Kisii County have been selling their crop for processing at the distant Tombe factory in Nyamira County. This often contributes to wastage of the produce as a result of transport delays and leads to wastage of our people’s time as well as inflating operational costs.
When the KTDA decided to open a satellite factory at Sombogo in Kitutu Chache North in 2005, it tasked farmers to raise an initial commitment premium of Ksh 30 million to the agency before the project could start.
But farmers were unable to raise the funds and for over ten years the project remained a dream until the Kisii County Government under the leadership of Governor James Ongwae intervened and paid the Ksh 30 million and now the factory project is taking shape.
Ongoing works include offices, changing rooms, a tea withering area, a cutting, tear and curry section, a packing area, general stores and dispatch point. Structures to house a giant standby generator, a boiler and a power transformer are almost 60% complete.
The contractor is also putting up residential units for staff, a fire fighting point and a water treatment area.
On completion the factory will also economically open up the area and create employment opportunities to more than 200 youths.