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Stakeholders Applaud Government’s Initiative to Boost Kenya Tea Brand and Farmer Income



TEA SECTOR stakeholders have welcomed the move by the Government to push for the development of a tea brand that will fetch the best prices for farmers, as announced by President William Ruto.

The President said Kenya’s tea should be branded to increase its visibility in the global market and labelling it with a mark of origin.

Patrick Ngunjiri, the Director at Iriani and Gitugi tea factories in Othaya , echoing the sentiments of His Excellency The President underscored and thrown his weight behind the unwavering commitment of his Excellency the President Dr. Hon William Samoei Ruto, to upscale and support the tea sector in Kenya. Fundamentally, he expressed optimism in the implementation of the tea reforms which were born in 2018.

Saying Kenya’s tea industry is a significant contributor to the economy, he pointed out that brand sustainability is very crucial in a competitive business environment.

Patrick Ngunjiri, Director of Gitugi Tea factory in an interview in his office Wednesday

“Kenya continues to sell unprocessed tea and denying farmers the best prices in the market. We are the largest tea producer in the world, yet we don’t have a Kenyan tea brand and, therefore, our product gets lower prices than countries that produce less than we do,” said Mr. Ngunjiri.

He at the same time welcomed the challenge by President William Ruto to set up common user facilities to catapult Kenya to be exporting at least 60 per cent of processed and branded tea in between three and five years.

“We cannot continue exporting our tea in sacks. In three years, we must export 60 per cent of value-added and branded tea
The director at the same time alluded that the tea reforms has enabled the farmer to reap more

“The factory of Gitugi which is under my jurisdiction posted the most impressive bonus payment of ksh 57 per kilo. This is mostly because they have embraced the orthodox and specialty tea. We are calling the other factories to do the same. We have currently 12 factories dealing with the same tea.

We are telling the farmer that president William Ruto is ready and has demonstrated commitment to support them for example yesterday during our meeting he told us that he is keen to see to it that farmers get the subsidized fertiliser to bolster their tea production

Some of the gains born by the reforms include entering into an agreement between the tea factory and KTDA MS. There are several advantages of this including dignifying the farmer and upscaling the yield derived from his tea, reduction of management fees from 2.5% to 1.5%, widening the democratic space whereby there is now openness in election of factory directors and capping the tenure of factory directors at 6yrs.

Journalist/PR Practitioner who seeks to tell the African stories in an African way. Be it on Politics, Sports, Business, and Current News the story will be told. Twitter @kmajangah

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