Home NEWS County News Kenyan factory inks deal with Chinese firm to boost production of Orthodox Tea

Kenyan factory inks deal with Chinese firm to boost production of Orthodox Tea

A Tea Factory in Murang’a County, Central Kenya, recently announced the signing of an agreement with a Chinese firm to support the production and exportation of orthodox tea.

The Chinese-owned company, Ploy Intercontinental Trading Company Ltd, will install an orthodox tea processing line at a cost of Ksh. 75 million at Ikumbi Tea Factory which will have a capacity to process 2, 000 kilos of the commodity on a daily basis. And that’s not all.  The Chinese firm has undertaken to buy all the processed special tea.

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Representative of the Chinese firm Bai Junsheng indicated that there is a big market for Kenya tea in China saying Kenyan highland tea is naturally grown without the use of chemicals.

He noted the tea from the Ikumbi factory is of good quality and that is why they have settled to support the production of orthodox tea in the Kigumo-based facility.

“In China, we have sourced a market for more than 100,000 metric tonnes of orthodox tea and after doing a survey, we settled on the Ikumbi tea factory due to the quality of green leaf produced by the allied farmers. We promise to buy all the specialty tea which will be processed by the factory,” said Bai

Farmers and directors of the KTDA-allied tea factory lauded the move saying processing and selling of orthodox tea to overseas countries will increase their income.

KTDA Board member representing Mr. James Githinji said for many years, they have relied on the production and selling of conventional black tea which does not accrue as much income as specialty tea.

“The deal is a hallmark between Kenya and China. This will ensure Kenyan-produced tea penetrates the Chinese market, thus a big boost to our farmers’ earnings,” he said.

Githinji added that the pact will ensure farmers allied to the factory will get better returns since all the processed orthodox tea have a ready market in China and some other countries in South East Asia.

“Ikumbi tea factory has moved to venture into production of specialty tea and with assistance from the Chinese company, we are aiming to increase the earnings of our farmers. Orthodox tea usually fetches more returns as compared to conventional black tea we normally process in our factory,” noted Githinji.

Orthodox tea is a special type of tea that is processed using a traditional procedure that includes plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying, and its results are loose tea leaves.

The Chairperson of the factory with more than 6, 500 active members Mr. Onesmus Kibuna highlighted that they have agreed with the Chinese firm that a kilo of orthodox tea will be bought from the factory at $ 8.

“The price of orthodox tea is more than four times the price of conventional tea we normally produce. We appeal to our farmers to increase production of the green leaf, and ensure quality of the produce thus to maintain the standard of tea produced by the Ikumbi factory,” said Kibuna.

Speaking during the same occasion, Tea Board of Kenya (TBK) Acting CEO Ms Peris Mudida praised the leadership of the Ikumbi factory for exploring new ways that will see increased income of the local farmers.

She stated that production of specialty tea will see diversification of tea produce thus creating more employment opportunities and increasing farmers’ income.

Mudida divulged that the board is exploring new markets targeting Canada, Germany, Poland, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Japan, China, Ghana, and South Africa.

“Currently, tea injects Sh158 billion in the country, with Sh. 20 billion being generated from the local sales,” added the CEO.

Ikumbi tea factory located in Kigumo Sub County becomes the latest KTDA-allied factory to venture into the production of orthodox tea.

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