Editor's Review

We need a strategy on how to grow, manufacture, brand, and sell our tea so that we get the right value - Ruto. 

President William Ruto on Tuesday, May 14, met Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) factory chairmen and directors at State House, Nairobi. 

The Head of State challenged the KTDA officials to work on a strategy to develop a tea brand that would fetch the best prices for farmers. 

The Head of State noted that Kenya’s tea should be branded to increase its visibility in the global market and labelling it with a mark of origin.

"We need a strategy on how to grow, manufacture, brand, and sell our tea so that we can get the right value. Kenya is the third largest producer of tea in the world and yet we don't have a Kenyan tea brand. It's unforgivable," remarked Ruto. 

He told the leaders of tea factories to set up common user facilities and told them he expects the country to be exporting at least 60 percent of processed and branded tea in between three and five years.

“Last year, we did away with taxes on packaging materials for tea. We, therefore, have to expand common user facilities and add value to our tea,” President Ruto said. 

Responding to issues raised by the leaders, the President promised to operationalise the Tea Tribunal within three months.

President Ruto agreed with the leaders that tea factories that have invested in hydro-power stations must be paid for the power they sell Kenya Power and Lighting Company.

He also said the Kenya Forest Service and KTDA will sign an agreement through which tea factories will take part in the country’s 15 billion tree-planting programme, and also be able to harvest trees in various forests for their wood fuel.

He said KTDA cannot continue to charge farmers a management fee of 2.5 percent and directed that it be reduced to 1.5 percent.