News and knowhow for farmers

Tea prices drop due to increase in production


Kenyan tea farmers are set to earn less income due to drop in prices of tea driven by increase in production of the produce to 9.5m kilos weekly yet the auction has a limit of eight million kilos.

The price of a kilo of tea at the Mombasa auction has dropped from a high of Sh270 in January this year to Sh247 recorded last week according to data from the Tea Directorate.

The Directorate says the auction can’t absorb more tea hence the drop in prices with the increase attributed to the ongoing rains especially in the west Rift Valley.

Tea production for the month of February 2018 for instance was 27.93m kg compared to 22.6m kg recorded during a similar period in 2017.

Tea is one of Kenya’s most important cash crops.


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 In 2017, the produce earned Kenya Sh120bn up from Sh120bn earned in 2016, an eight per cent increase.

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The area under tea cultivation increased by 6.5 per cent from 218.5 thousand ha in 2016 to 232.7 thousand ha in 2017.

However, the production reduced from 473,000 tonnes in 2016 to 439,800 tonnes, a seven per cent decrease due to prolonged drought.

In this, tea production by small holder growers decreased by 7.3 per cent to 246.1 thousand tonnes in 2017 while output within the tea estates declined by 6.6 per cent to 193.7 thousand tonnes over the same period.

The average yield for the small holder growers decreased from 2,086.4 kilograms per hectare in 2016 to 1,913.7 kilograms per hectare in 2017 while that within the tea estates decreased from 2,908.8 kilograms per hectare in 2016 to 2,603.5 kilograms per hectare in 2017.

Kenya is ranked third in tea production in the world after India and China. The tea from the country has been recognized globally due to its taste and aroma and is used for blending with other tea from the rest of the world.


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