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KTDA: Tea price drop could damage economy

28 October 2013, 12:07

Nairobi - The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has called for the government’s intervention amid falling prices of the commodity, which the agency warned would have adverse effects on the economy.

The agency cautioned tea growers that the trending low prices would affect their earnings unless the government intervened to rescue the situation.

KTDA wants government to subsidise the cost of fertiliser and further waiver taxes on imposed on tea in a bid to salvage the situation that it said was getting out of hand.

“The prices have come down by a huge margin. We have already established a committee to look into whether we should go into direct sales,” chairman Peter Kanyago said in a Iriaini tea factory after his unopposed re-election as the KTDA Director for Nyeri County.

He called upon the government to assist the farmers by venturing into new markets such as China, Russia through government-to government negotiation.

Kanyago further noted that Kenyan tea was expensive at the Mombasa auction due to the value added tax introduced by the government last year.

He added that Kenya’s tea was more expensive compared to the product from Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Malawi.

As such, he noted, buyers preferred tea from these countries.

Tea is a major cash crop in the country.

It is ranked as the third major foreign currency earner after tourism and horticulture.

– CAJ News


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