Govt to boost tea trade as part of Big Four agenda

A tea auction in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A tea auction in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The government is planning to strengthen Kenya's tea trade in order to boost export earnings from the key commodity.

Speaking on the sidelines of a consultative meeting on tea exports, the PS said that there is need to focus on improving the sector.

"We would like to sustain and sell tea," said Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo at the East African Tea Trade Association auction centre in Mombasa.

The PS added that he will be chairing quarterly meetings with stakeholders in the tea industry in order to address various issues affecting them.

He said that the government wants to transform the sector while concentrating on value addition as part of achieving president Uhuru Kenyatta's "Big Four" agenda.

Trade with neighbours

On their part, tea exporters commended the government for its support but called on it to facilitate smooth trading with countries in the region.

They said that there were trade barriers between neighbouring east African countries despite belonging to the same economic bloc.

The Trade PS also noted that there was no synergy between the Kenyan organisations involved in international tea trade.