Greenleaf production for smallholder tea farmers under KTDA rises by 15.2%

Greenleaf production for smallholder tea farmers under Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) rose by 15.2%. to 763,208,762 kilos for the last seven months (June 2023-January 31st 2024) and this has been attributed to favourable weather conditions within the period among other factors. Application of subsidized fertilizer and ample rains within the period contributed to increment in green leaf production.

This compares to 662,565,605 million kilos of green leaf delivered to KTDA-managed factories within the same period in the previous year. According to KTDA, the increase in processed teas, especially in the West of Rift is due to the monthly advance payments structure where factories have increased their rates attracting more green leaf. The factories increased their rates from Kshs 20 to Kshs 24 for one kilogram of green leaf while factories in the East of Rift increased their rate from Kshs 21 to Kshs 25 from January 2024.

As a result of the increase in green leaf production KTDA has sold 152 million Kgs of processed tea compared to 148 million Kgs within the same the same period last year. This is a 2.8% increase in sales.

“We are working round the clock to push as much tea as possible working with other stakeholders including government agencies. Our single focus remains improving the earnings for the farmers.,” KTDA Group CEO, Wilson Muthaura said.

The average price of KTDA teas within the same period went up by 3% from USD 2.70 per kg to USD 2. 78. Over the same period, there have been gains from favourable forex exchange rates which are expected to spur earnings for the farmers compared to the same period last if the sales trend is maintained.

“The global tea market faces headwinds, with rising production costs and fluctuating demand,” continued Muthaura. “Despite these challenges, KTDA remains focused on maximizing value for our smallholder farmers. We continue to work tirelessly to push as much tea as possible while exploring new markets and value-added opportunities.”.

In September 2023, KTDA announced a 44.15 billion final pay out to smallholder tea farmers. This final pay out lifted farmers’ total earnings for the year by 7.6 percent to an all-time high of Sh67.7 billion from Sh62.89 billion at the same time in 2022.

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