Tea Production in Kenya at 15% Highest Ever Recorded in January

Smallholder Kenyan Tea Farmers to Receive KSh649m Dividend 

Imenti Tea Factory PHOTO: Simon Mordue, EU Ambassador to Kenya

Farmers affiliated to the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) delivered 150.5 million kilos of green leaf in January 2020, the highest ever amount recorded in a single month.

“The January amount is 15% above the 130 million kilos delivered in December 2019 and 21.8% higher than what the farmers produced in January 2019,” said KTDA in its report.

The increase in production of greenleaf is attributed to high rainfall experienced in tea growing areas, favourable temperatures and good farming practices by tea farmers as recommended in the Farmers Field Schools (FFS) programme.

Average tea prices at the Mombasa Tea Auction in the period under review (July 2019 – January 2020) continued a downward trend, recording USD 2.21 compared to USD 2.58 in the corresponding period in 2018, a 14 percent drop.

However, teas from KTDA-managed factories fetched an average USD 2.56 during the period under review compared to USD2.69 for a similar period in the previous year (July 2018 to January 2019), a drop of 4.8 percent.

The agency also noted that other tea producing countries like China and India reported increased production adding to the global tea volumes being offered for sale.

Pakistan, Egypt, UK, UAE, and Sudan remain Kenya;’s key export destination for the predominant black CTC type of tea produced in Kenya. “Excess teas in the global supply chain coupled with political and economic upheavals in main markets have continued to depress tea prices which are the biggest contributing factor to the net earnings for farmers.”

Excess Global Supplies to Hurt Kenya Tea Farmers Earnings in 2020