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Commodities

SMEs to ink tea deal doubling exports

A woman picks tea leaves at Gathehu village in Nyeri county on October 31, 2015. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A woman picks tea leaves at Gathehu village in Nyeri county on October 31, 2015. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Small firms are set to offer multinationals competition as Export Promotion Council (EPC) and Tea Directorate ink a deal to enable them export directly.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) to be signed Tuesday is aimed at doubling the volume small and medium enterprises (SMEs) export.

Currently, multinationals export up to 90 per cent of the total tea produced while small traders only manage to sell 10 per cent outside the country.

“We want to empower the SMEs so that they can double the amount of tea they export from the current figure of 10 per cent,” says head of the directorate Samuel Ogola.

Under the programme, EPC will provide SMEs expertise on how to access the export market and build capacity as well as knowledge on how to fulfill international orders.

The SMEs will also be given access to financial services as they are unable to access the required funds to meet orders from abroad.

“It requires a lot of funds for a tea trader to meet the orders abroad. It takes a while before they are paid on the consignment that has been supplied making it difficult for them to meet the next order,” he said.

He says Co-op and Equity banks have agreed to offer SMEs short term credit.

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