- The country projects the tea export earnings to rise to about Sh150 billion up from Sh138 billion last year.
- Gachagua at the same time asked the directors to reconsider their support for loss-making ventures.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said the government will support the Kenya Tea Development Agency by looking for abroad-based markets for their product.
Gachagua who spoke Wednesday when held a meeting with directors from various tea factories across the country, said he will be a delegation of tea players including the directors to particular foreign nations.
"I will deal with these coffee cartels for three to four weeks then, together with the directors of KTDA, I will travel to Iran, Pakistan, and Europe to look for markets for our farmers,” he said.
Gachagua said there was a need to expand the markets to ward off competition from other tea-producing countries and cushion farmers from probable shocks in the global markets.
“Once we find new markets and get better prices our farmers will produce more tea and even better quality," the DP said.
This year, the country projects the tea export earnings to rise to about Sh150 billion up from Sh138 billion last year as reforms continue to be rolled out.
“We can do better; the factories should diversify and explore Orthodox tea production which fetches higher earnings in international markets,” he added.
The Kenya Kwanza administration, he noted, is fully committed to having tea farmers get better pay, adding that they will continue to streamline the sub-sector in order to push the earnings up.
He also promised to work closely with the directors to ensure the targets are achieved.
“We must push the bonuses even higher in the next five years. That is why we will follow up on the implementation of the reforms to the last dot."
"A review of all legal, policy, and regulative frameworks is ongoing for lasting reforms. I thank MPs and Senators for their commitment in supporting the reforms,” he stated.
In this year’s bonuses, Gitugi factory in Nyeri will pay the highest at Sh57 per kilo, followed by Imenti in Meru (Sh52) and Michimikuru (Sh47), also in Meru.
Momul tea factory (Sh44) in Kericho was also recognised for consistently higher pay to farmers. Nyankoba factory in Nyamira (Sh35) recorded the most improved pay this year.
Gachagua at the same time asked the directors to reconsider their support for loss-making ventures under them and concentrate on profitable investments.
"I urge that we have an audit of all the KTDA subsidiaries. Those assisting farmers and making profits should be sustained and those making losses be liquidated," he said.
"We want KTDA to leave the business of real estate, insurance companies, and other investments and instead concentrate on the tea business."