Counties

Munya dismisses Bomet’s claim of tea export to Iran

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Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Bomet announced last month that it entered into a deal with an Iranian buyer for direct exports of the beverage from the region.
  • Dr Barchok said the county shipped out tea last month, which is currently en route to the Middle East state.
  • CS Peter Munya said the trade sanctions by the US has made it impossible for Kenya to directly export tea to Iran.


Agriculture Cabinet secretary Peter Munya has dismissed Bomet County’s claim of having exported tea to Iran, saying the records show that no beverage from the region has passed through the Mombasa port.

Mr Munya said the trade sanctions by the US has made it impossible for Kenya to directly export tea to Iran.

However, Bomet governor Hillary Barchok dismissed the minister's claims, saying they shipped the first consignment to Tehran last month after reaching a deal.

Bomet announced last month that it entered into a deal with an Iranian buyer for direct exports of the beverage from the region as it seeks to improve farmers’ earnings.

“The reports of Bomet having exported tea to Iran is fake. From the information we have, no tea has ever reached the port of Mombasa from there,” said Mr Munya last week.

However, Dr Barchok said the county shipped out tea last month, which is currently en route to the Middle East state.

“The tea is at the moment en route to Iran. We shall be going there either on July 28 or 30 to receive it,” said the governor.

The Agriculture ministry, through tea reforms, banned the direct sales of tea international market and ordered that it should be sold through the auction in Mombasa.

Former US President Donald Trump in 2018 withdrew the country from the Iran deal and imposed new sanctions on Tehran, coming just three years after the restrictions had been lifted following an agreement between Tehran and five other Western countries on the nuclear deal.

The governor insists that Kericho tea’s direct sales are still ongoing and will continue as the region seeks better prices for their farmers.

Kenya has been targeting Iran as one of the major buyers and has been promoting sales in Tehran.

According to the agriculture regulator, Iran has a larger population of more than 80 million people with a per capita consumption of 1.4 kilogrammes against Kenya’s half a kilo, creating a huge potential market for the country’s produce.

Iran imports more than 100 million kilogrammes of tea, with Kenya supplying 20 million kilos annually.

In 2017, Kenya sent a delegation to Iran to promote the country’s beverage by seeking more buyers of the commodity.