Tea firms raise prices in fight for dear leaf


A woman carries a sack with tea leaves on her back after plucking at a farm in Kapsabet, Nandi County on April 04, 2023. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG

Multinational companies and local tea firms are competing for tea leaves from small-scale farmers following the establishment of new tea factories in Nandi County.

This is after major firms in the area increased tea buying prices to attract suppliers.

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For the past five years, the number of factories owned by private investors in the county has increased, and this has seen the companies dangling better prices to attract farmers who traditionally sold their produce to established multinationals.

Micro tea processors, including Mbogo Valley, Siret, Emrock, Koisagat, Kamariny, Chepkumi, Sang’lo, and Kapchorwa among other companies are scrambling for the tea leaves.

Siret Tea Company with over 10,000 tea farmers is buying leaves at Sh24 per kilogramme, while Eastern Produce Kenya (EPK) buys leaves at Sh23 per kilogramme.

Nandi Tea, the oldest multinational company in the region is paying Sh23 while Mbogo Valley buys the leaves at Sh1 less.

Currently, KTDA pays farmers Sh19 per kilo, while bonus payments are determined as per the performance of tea delivered to various 69 KTDA factories in the country.

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“The current competitive market now favours us as farmers in the region. It limits the chances of being exploited by brokers and expands the market to sell our produce at good prices,” said Ezekiel Kirwa, a farmer in Nandi.

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