Kenya eyes Tea Exports to Iran

The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has found a new markets for tea in Iran and Russia after the United Nations lifted a 10-year embargo.

According to KTDA national chairman Peter Kanyago, the agency will continue expanding the orthodox tea product in order to dislodge India and Sri Lanka that has dominated the market over the years.

“We have done heavy marketing and penetration to the two market frontiers as we intend to be heavy orthodox tea producers and [we plan to] eject the prevailing markets in the world,” said Mr Kanyago.

However, he said the current production of orthodox tea is not sufficient to meet the new market demand.

The Iran and Russian markets require at least 10 to 12 million kilogrammes of orthodox tea but Kenya only produces three per cent of the tea from three factories in the country.

Orthodox teas are whole leaf teas produced using the traditional process and they generally fetch higher prices than those processed by the crush, tear and curl (CTC) process which is common with black tea leaves.

KTDA intends to bring to eight the factories across the country producing this tea to be able to sufficiently meet the demand.

Each factory, according to Mr Kanyago, will spend Sh100 million to purchase rolling machines and modernise buildings by the end of the year.

Kenya is the world’s biggest exporter of the black variety tea. (Daily Nation)

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