Residents in Embu have been urged to consume locally produced tea from the tree factories of Mungania, Rukuriri and Kathangariri to promote and expand the market.
Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire met with other members of the county and Kenya Tea Development Authority to strategize on how they will improve tea business in the county since there has been low consumption despite it (the county) producing quality tea which is mostly consumed outside.
“We are going to lodge a campaign to both hospitals and other institutions to encourage them to continue consuming tea from these factories. “We have also consulted with the marketing team in cases of value addition where tea will be packaged properly into tea bags and other packaging so that they can be sold outside the county, “she said.
The Governor asked the government allow tea factories cut trees in some of the forests and plant others since buying firewood for drying tea leaves has become expensive and this has cost farmers millions hence leading to poor pay. She has noticed sections of forests being leased to private investors.
According to Manyatta Member of Parliament Gitonga Mukunji, they will champion for local consumption since the market that was lying idle and unutilized and only 1% of tea produced in the county is consumed locally.
Kenya Tea Development Authority Chairman Enos Njeru lauded the relationship between the county and the national government on issues tea saying the efforts being reflected in tea sector will benefit the farmers.
“Buyers who will want to get tea from our local factories directly will be allowed, we will also keep up with innovation in the tea sector and secure markets for the farmers, “he said.