Tea farmers in the East of Rift Valley comprising Murang’a, Embu, Meru and Kirinyaga counties continue to outperform those of their counterparts in western Kenya with reported increase in earnings.
In the financial year ending June, farmers in these eastern counties earned Sh33.3 billion, representing 64.3 per cent of the total, against Sh18.5 billion that the western region earned in the review period.
The western counties include Bomet, Kericho, Vihiga, Trans-Nzoia, Nandi, Kisii and Nyamira. Their earnings have trailed those of the eastern regions in the past decade.
A number of attributes determine the price of the tea, which consumers use in deciding the value of the commodity. Some of the parameters include the aroma and test.
Where the produce is grown geographically plays a key role in determining the quality, which informs consumers’ preferences.
“Prices are guided by customer preferences and other factors that come into play,”
Edward Mudibo, Managing Director East Africa Tea Traders Association.
The total payment to farmers attached to Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) this year was Sh51.85 billion up from Sh46.48 billion last year, representing an 11.6 per cent increase.
The growth is attributed to increased green leaf production by the factories, which grew 29 per cent for the year to stand at 1.45 billion kgs compared with 1.13 billion kgs over a similar period last year, as well as a more favourable exchange rate.