Kenya’s tea production will drop by 11%, says AFA chief

Nairobi – Kenya’s tea volumes for 2017 are expected to drop by 11 per cent as the effects of drought take a toll on production of Kenya’s top foreign earner.

Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) says production of green leaf will drop from 473 million kilogrammes produced in 2016 to about 420 million this year.

AFA chief executive Alfred Busolo, however, noted that the price is expected to improve during the period as a result of the decline in production.

“In terms of volumes we are going to register a decline in production, however, this will not have a big effect on earnings as we expect the prices to improve,” he said.

Busolo noted the price of tea is on average forecast to stands at Sh250 (about Rwf2,000) per kilo, which is higher than Sh236 (about Rwf1,888) registered last year.

He was speaking at the third Tea Convention Workshop and Exhibition in Nairobi last week.

Tea production in 2016 reached an all-time high of 473 million kilogrammes, which was 18.4 per cent higher than the 399 million kilogrammes recorded in 2015.

This is by far the highest production compared to other record outputs of 445 million kilogrammes in 2014 and 432 million registered in 2013.

Out of the total production for 2016, the smallholder sub-sector output was 265.6 million kilogrammes (56 per cent) while the estate sub-sector was 207.4 million kilos (44 per cent).

Kericho County recorded the highest production of 93 million kilogrammes, Bomet 72 million kilogrammes and Nandi 71 million kilogrammes.