President Ruto flags off tea export to Ghana, praises KTDA for opening new markets for the benefit of farmers

President William Ruto has praised KTDA for expanding tea exports to West and Central Africa as he flagged off a consigment to Ghan

Speaking at the KICC in Nairobi President Ruto challenged KTDA and the Ministry of Agriculture to develop a Kenyan brand of tea that can be identified globally.

He commended KTDA for the good work and efforts they have made to grow the tea sector in the country.

“I am glad that we can now export processed manufactured tea product to the world rather than just raw product, next we should see sugar, coffee,pyretrum, milk and cotton follow suit,” said President Ruto

He said that this year Kenya earned Sh 1.1 billion dollars from exported tea and said he is looking forward to chair a meeeting of a proposal of production of Othodox tea.

He further challenged KTDA toincrease the value addittion of tea for export from 5% to 50% that being the minimmum in the next 5 years.

”This value addittion of grading and packing for export will be done at the Dongo Kundu facility in Mombasa,” said the President.

He added that his next agenda is to totally eliminate barriers in tea sector as a result of taxation.

The chairman KTDA David Ichoho said that Kenya is the leading exporter of black tea in Africa .

“‘We are happy to take this opportunity to diversify our markets from our traditional, predominantly bulk tea markets to value added markets in Ghana,” he said

The tea subsector supports the livelihoods of more than 600,000 farmer’s majority of whom own less than half an acre of tea.

KTDA manages processing and markettiing of tea from 71 processing factories spreadout across 16 counties.

“We take advantage of economies of scale to enhance efficiency and ensure the farmer is paid promptly for their produce .In the last financial year ,the small holder tea farmers earned a total of 62.89 billion shillings for their tea which was an improvement of 42.4% compared to the previousyear earnings of 44.15billion shillings,”Ichoho said

KETEPA is one of the subsidiary companies where KTDA is the major shareholder. The subsidiary has been among the market leaders in Kenya.

It has been a household name in Kenya with brands like Safari pure and Fahari ya Kenya.

“Kenya has experienced improvement in tea production since in 2015 they produced 390 million kilos while in 2021 they produced over 530 million killos which has shown an exemplary improvement,” said Ichoho.

He requested the government to support in coming up with a common user facility for value addittion toenable more players to venture into the business without having to invest huge capital outlay.

He further asked the government to support them billaterary to open new markets for Othodox and value added teas inorder to make teas more competitive especially in markets that have tarriff and non-tarriff barriers.

KTDA has reduced the interest rates from 21% to 8% for loans given to farmers by micro finance subsidiary green land fedha.

Ichoho thanked the government for it’s commitment to reform agriculture agro-processing and value addttion .

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