Economy

Six-month tea export earnings fall by Sh100m

tea

Smallholder farmers attached to KTDA delivered 768.9 million kilogrammes of green leaf. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The tea fetched Sh49.2 billion in the review period, down from Sh49.3 billion in corresponding period last year.
  • Decline in prices has been blamed on increased volumes of green leaf from farmers, which has shot up by four percent in the review period.

Farmers affiliated to Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) are staring at low earnings in the current financial year after the value of exports dropped by Sh100 million in the first six months of 2019/2020 period.

Data from the agency indicate that the tea fetched Sh49.2 billion in the review period, down from Sh49.3 billion in corresponding period last year.

Decline in prices has been blamed on increased volumes of green leaf from farmers, which has shot up by four percent in the review period. ”Prices in the run up to the end of the 2019/20 financial year will be critical in determining farmers’ earnings in the wake of a subdued performance in the 2018/19 financial year,” said the agency.

Last year, low bonus declared by the market agency caused a storm in the tea growing areas forcing President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene.

Smallholder farmers attached to KTDA delivered 768.9 million kilogrammes of green leaf to their respective factories between July, 2019 and January 2020, up from 733.4 in the previous period.

“Cumulatively, in the current financial year to date, production stands at 768.98 million kilos compared with 733.48 million kilos for the same period in the previous year, a 4.8 percent increase,” said KTDA.

Depressed earnings come at a time when the government has ordered a probe into the activities of the agency, citing conflict of interest in their operations.