Commodities

Eastern Kenya tea farmers bag 64pc of earnings

tea

A worker picking tea. FILE PHOTO | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • Earnings by tea farmers in the East of Rift Valley comprising Murang’a, Embu, Meru and Kirinyaga counties continue to outperform those of their counterparts in western Kenya.
  • In the final payment to growers in the financial year ending June, farmers in these eastern counties earned Sh33.3 billion, representing 64.3 percent of the total, against Sh18.5 billion that the western region earned in the review period.
  • The western counties include Bomet, Kericho, Vihiga, Trans-Nzoia, Nandi, Kisii and Nyamira. Their earnings have trailed those of the eastern regions in the past decade.

Earnings by tea farmers in the East of Rift Valley comprising Murang’a, Embu, Meru and Kirinyaga counties continue to outperform those of their counterparts in western Kenya.

In the final payment to growers in the financial year ending June, farmers in these eastern counties earned Sh33.3 billion, representing 64.3 percent of the total, against Sh18.5 billion that the western region earned in the review period.

The western counties include Bomet, Kericho, Vihiga, Trans-Nzoia, Nandi, Kisii and Nyamira. Their earnings have trailed those of the eastern regions in the past decade.

The price of tea is based on a number of attributes, which consumers use in deciding the value of the commodity. Some of the parameters include the aroma and test.

Where the produce is grown geographically plays a key role in determining the quality, which informs consumers’ preferences.

“Prices are guided by customer preferences and other factors that come into play,” said Edward Mudibo, managing director East Africa Tea Traders Association.

The total payment to farmers attached to Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) this year was Sh51.85 billion up from Sh46.48 billion last year, representing an 11.6 percent increase.

The growth is attributed to increased green leaf production by the factories, which grew 29 percent for the year to stand at 1.45 billion kgs compared with 1.13 billion kgs over a similar period last year, as well as a more favourable exchange rate.