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Kenya tea output on the rise

\"\"NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – Kenya’s tea production increased by 61 percent in February at 34.8 million kilograms compared to 21.5 million in 2009.

The output in February is however slightly lower than the 37.7 million kilograms recorded in January this year.

Statistics from the Kenya Tea Board indicate that output by smallholder farmers was up 69 percent from 12.3 million kilograms to 20.8 million kgs while that of the plantation sub-sector recorded a 51 percent increase standing at 13.9 Million kgs.

The West Rift recorded increased output of 42 percent of 19.5 million kilograms, while the East Rift recorded an increase of 96 percent to stand at 15.3 million kilograms.

During the period under review the average tea prices was higher at $3.13 per kilo compared to $2.29 as the amount of tea sales for the month was 36 percent higher.

“This happening against the backdrop of rising costs of production is a welcome development,” Sicily Kariuki, Kenya Tea Board Managing Director, said in a statement.

The total export volume stood at 37.5 million kilograms, which was 50 percent higher compared to 25 million kilograms recorded same period of last year. During the month, Kenyan tea was shipped to 33 export destinations.

Egypt maintained the leading export destination for Kenyan tea having imported nine million kilograms of tea from Kenya, which accounted for 24 percent of the country’s tea export volume.

Other key export destinations were UK, which imported 6.7 million kgs, Afghanistan 5.6 million kgs, Pakistan 4.6 million kgs and Yemen 1.7 million kgs. The five export destinations accounted for 74 percent of Kenya tea export volume.

The local tea consumption suffered a 17 percent dip to 1.3 million kilograms.

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