Government keen on expanding tea, coffee markets
15 September 2014, 13:47
Nairobi - The government is confident that tea and coffee markets will improve despite having recorded low returns last season.
Tea returns were low this year due to high and surplus production, according to Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).
The tea growing countries in Africa are seeking ways of expanding the market in order to avoid similar challenges in future, President Uhuru Kenyatta said.
Speaking in Nyeri, Uhuru asked tea factories to introduce new varieties to farmers.
He announced that the subsidized fertilizer program will also cover coffee and tea farmers in order for them to access farm inputs at low prices like their counterpart maize farmers.
However, following reports that tens of hundreds of people living in Kieni constituency were facing hunger, the President said construction of seven mega dams will kick off soon to boost food security.
Also Read: GALLERY: Nyeri receives relief food as hunger bites
The dams will distribute irrigation water to more than 13 000 acres of land.
“Once that project is complete, Nyeri will be food secure and also expand horticulture production to other counties and countries,” said the President.
He further challenged the ASK show organizers to make the event a regular one and not an annual affair.
“We have agreed with ASK leaders that the showground should be engaged in more activities throughout the year and the government will assist in seeing how the facilities can be economically viable and be a tourist attraction,” he said.
The facilities remain idle after the annual event, while President Uhuru said it can be used for more activities.
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