TEA PRODUCTION IN DROUGHT-HIT KENYA PROJECTED TO DROP 30 PCT IN 2017

Tea production in Kenya, the world’s third biggest exporter, is projected to drop by 30 per cent this year because of the prolonged drought which has prevailed.

Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) Chairman Peter Kanyago says there has been no increase in production and he advised tea farmers to brace themselves for tough times in coming months.

Most parts of the country have been hit hard by the long dry spells which have in turn affected farming activities and tea is among the crops whose production is expected to drop.

The KTDA is projecting a 30 percent drop in tea production this year. There are fears that reduced production could affect earnings which has prompted some factories in Nyeri County in central Kenya to contemplate retrenchments to reduce costs.

These developments come even as tea prices have started improving at the Mombasa tea auction after months of volatility. Experts say the low tea production could push up demand for the produce as well as prices.

Meanwhile, the KTDA says it has found new markets for Kenyan tea in Iran and Russia after the United Nations lifted a 10-year embargo on exports to Iran.

Kanyago says the KTDA will expand the markets for orthodox tea products in order to dislodge India and Sri Lanka which have dominated the market for these products over the years.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK