KENYA, CHINA SET TO SIGN MOU ON TEA TRADE

NAIROBI, Kenya and China are set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on trade in tea next month, says the Head of the Tea Directorate, Samuel Ogola.

He told Xinhua here Tuesday that under the MoU, Kenya tea’s industry will receive training on how to process tea which will appeal to Chinese consumers.

“Kenya has high quality tea but we lack expertise in high quality processing. So the training will help Kenya to penetrate the huge Chinese tea market,” Ogola said on the sidelines of the signing of an agreement between Kenya’s Export Promotion Council and the Tea Directorate.

Ogola said China had a rich tea growing culture spanning more than 3,000 years, which Kenya could learn from to expand its tea sector.

The MoU will be signed in China by Kenya’s Ambassador to China and the China Tea Marketing Association.

Currently, Kenya exports between four and five million kilogrammes of tea annually to China out of a production of approximately 472 million kg but has been facing a technical barrier to access the market in China because of standards.

“Chinese standards are a bit too high for Kenya in terms of the rare earth metals that are present in Kenyan soils where there is tea cultivation,” he said.

He noted that Kenya had held discussions with China, so that Chinese standards could be relaxed so as to allow Kenyan tea to be exported to that country.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK