KTDA discourages farmers from growing purple tea
17 September 2013, 13:10
Nyeri - Kenya Tea Development Agency Board (KTDA) Chairman, Peter Kanyago, has discouraged farmers from growing the purple tea as the agency has not established a market for it.
Kanyago said the tea is also processed separately from the other varieties due to its colour and that KTDA has no capacity for that at this time.
Speaking in Nyeri, Kanyago said that though it is a good product, farmers growing this crop should not expect higher pay from the it until a market is established.
He said that KTDA will be advising farmers once a market and processing mechanisms are established adding that they only receive about 1 000kg from Kangaita factory which is experimental.
“Purple is good but at this time KTDA has not established a market for the tea and we do not have the capacity for processing. We are advising farmers not to grow the tea for now,” he said.
In regard to tea returns, Kanyago said the board has concluded the calculation of bonus for the last sale where a 10 per cent decrease in rate per kilo was experienced. He attributed this to the crisis in Egypt which is the largest importer of the Kenyan tea and recorded a reduced buying of the product.
Egypt consumes at least 20 percent of Kenyan tea.
The chairman however said that KTDA will be looking for alternative markets for the product in China, Australia and America so as to reduce over dependence on one market and also sustain better pay.
KTDA collected at least 250 million kilograms of tea last year from the 65 factories it manages in the country and will be paying a total of KES 69 billion to farmers as compared to the KES 61 billion paid last year.
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