NAIROBI, Sept 6 Small-scale Kenyan tea farmers
saw their revenue surge 32 percent to a record 84 billion
shillings ($830 million) in the year to June as strong demand
pushed up prices and a weaker currency helped, their national
co-operative said on Tuesday.
The East African nation is the world's No. 1 exporter of
black tea and the crop is its top foreign exchange earner.
Robust demand in the first half of the year drove up the
average price per kg to $3.01, from an average of $2.63 in the
previous financial year, Lerionka Tiampati, managing director of
the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), said.
"The improved earnings was a result of improved tea prices,
increased tea volumes associated with good weather, and
favourable exchange rates," Tiampati said in a statement.
KTDA accounts for about 60 percent of tea production in
Kenya. The rest is grown by large-scale farmers and
The volume of green leaf produced by small-scale farmers
climbed marginally to 1.23 billion kg over the period from 1.04
billion kg the previous year, KTDA said.
Kenya expects production of tea to jump 10 to 15 percent
this year to 430 million to 450 million kg on the back of heavy
rains associated with the el Nino weather phenomenon, the
agriculture industry regulator said in May.
It earned 125 billion shillings from tea exports in the
calendar year 2015.
Tiampati said despite the good performance, the producers
still face challenges including high energy, labour, financing
and transport costs.
($1 = 101.2500 Kenyan shillings)
(Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Susan Fenton)