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Kenya needs more factories to meet Orthodox tea demand in Russia, KTDA

Eight more tea factories should work on production of the variety to bring the total of the factories to 11/FILE

NYERI, Kenya Jan 18 – Kenya Tea Development Agency is encouraging tea factories to produce more Orthodox tea to meet a growing demand from consumers in Russia.

KTDA National Chairman Peter Kanyago says Iran and Russia provide new market opportunities for Kenyan tea but only a few factories in the country have the capacity to produce Orthodox tea.

The Chairman noted that Russia is one the of the emerging economic giants is demanding more of the variety than the country can supply, saying that there is need to up the game in production of the variety.

Kanyago said that there are only three factories in the country that have advanced in production of Orthodox tea including Chinga and Gitugi factories Nyeri and Murang’a counties respectively.

Kanyago said that to adequately supply the existing market, eight more tea factories should work on production of the variety to bring the total of the factories to 11.

“There is an existing market as we speak of this variety. Ours as farmers is only to work towards providing what it demands in order to improve our earnings, “he said.

He also said Iran is also looking for a share of the same variety despite the fact that they have also been buying CTC variety as well from Kenyan market.

He, however, said that the process towards this realization may gulp Sh100 million from farmers’ pockets in order to make it possible to set up buildings and acquire machines specific for this production in the eight factories.

Unlike CTC variety that is produced through Crush, Tear and Curl, Orthodox type of tea is produced using traditional methods that involve plucking, withering, rolling, fermentation and dying.

Kanyago was speaking during the annual general meeting at Gathuthi tea Factory yesterday where farmers demanded the removal of Gathuthi tea Factory Company Auditor Isaac Njagi.

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The farmers said that the auditor has served long in the factory having offered services for close to ten years, implying that he was subject to manipulation by the factory management.

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