In 2023, Kenya’s tea industry experienced unprecedented success, achieving its highest-ever export earnings of Sh180.57 billion. This marked a significant increase from the Sh138.09 billion recorded in the previous year, demonstrating substantial growth within the sector. The surge in earnings reflects the industry’s resilience and its ability to capitalize on favorable conditions.

According to the Kenya Tea Industry performance highlights for 2023, an additional Sh16.4 billion was generated from the sale of tea in the domestic market, contributing to a total marketed value of Sh196.97 billion. This robust performance underscores the importance of both international and domestic markets in sustaining the industry’s growth trajectory.

During the release of the Tea Sector Performance Report for 2023 at Tea House, Nairobi, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua emphasized the Kenya Kwanza administration’s unwavering commitment to maximizing earnings within the tea sub-sector. Gachagua highlighted the industry’s potential to further boost farmers’ income and stimulate economic development across the country.

The remarkable achievement in 2023 signifies a significant milestone for Kenya’s tea industry, surpassing previous export earnings recorded in 2022 and 2021. The substantial increase in export earnings reflects the industry’s ability to adapt to changing market dynamics and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua attributed the industry’s success to favorable weather conditions experienced between April and December 2023. Additionally, the application of fertilizer through government subsidy programs and the licensing of additional processing factories played crucial roles in boosting production and minimizing post-harvest losses.

To sustain this exceptional performance, Gachagua emphasized the importance of implementing reforms aimed at enhancing competitiveness and increasing returns for tea growers. He directed the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary to prioritize reforms addressing cost inefficiencies, quality control issues, and value addition strategies within the tea sector.

Furthermore, the government’s commitment to increasing the level of value-added tea exports from five percent in 2023 to 50 percent by 2027 demonstrates a strategic approach to enhancing the sector’s value chain. This initiative is expected to significantly increase the value of tea exports, improve foreign exchange balances, and create more employment opportunities.

The Tea Board of Kenya’s 2023 performance highlights revealed a 16 percent increase in total tea export volume, reaching 522.92 million kgs compared to 450.33 million kgs in 2022. This growth trajectory indicates a positive outlook for Kenya’s tea industry, positioning it as a key contributor to the country’s economic development and prosperity.

Leave a Reply