NAIROBI, Kenya, April 23 – Kenya’s tea auction will be conducted with immediate effect through an online platform every day as opposed to three days as earlier designated by the East Africa Tea Trade Association (EATTA) Secretariat, an official said Friday.
Peter Munya, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Cooperatives, said that traders will have additional days to trade in the commodity using the digital platform.
“Auction trading has gone electronic and that catalogs are now being generated online as opposed to the previous open outcry system where the catalog would be taken for printing prior to their distribution to buyers,” Munya said in a statement released in Nairobi.
Munya said that the absorption of tea on offer is being enhanced since the system is able to automatically re-list the tea for sale the same day of the auction.
He said that the additional days will enable top export markets, such as Pakistan, Egypt, Russia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sudan, Yemen, Kazakhstan, Poland and Jordan, which control about 85 percent of purchases, to trade with ease.
The auction currently has overseas buyer representatives and agents drawn from more than 70 market destinations globally. And the current tea reforms being undertaken by the government in revamping the sub-sector are meant to benefit farmers by enhancing accountability and transparency in the industry.
In Kenya, the volume of tea offered and sold on a weekly basis varies from 8-13 million kilograms depending on the season while the average value for the tea sold is about 2.2 billion shillings (about 20.3 million U.S. dollars).