Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture said Friday that the country’s tea industry, which saw sluggish production, distribution and marketing due to COVID-19 restrictions, is recovering at a faster pace.
Peter Munya, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, said the industry has adapted very quickly to the new normal and is now in a stable state.
“Amidst the pandemic, tea production was significantly enhanced by 24 percent in 2020 to stand at 569 million kilograms against 458 million kilograms recorded in 2019,” Munya said in a statement released in Nairobi marking the International Tea Day.
Kenya’s tea export for 2020 rose by 4 percent to 518 million kilograms, up from 496 million kilograms recorded in 2019. And earnings from tea export, at 120 billion shillings (about 1.11 billion U.S. dollars), also slightly improved, against 1.08 billion dollars in 2019.
Munya said domestic consumption of tea remained at the same level of 2019, at 41 million kilograms.
Peris Mudida, director of Tea Directorate at the Agriculture and Food Authority, said Kenyan tea has marched into new markets in Russia, Poland, Iran, Kazakhstan, Jordan and Nigeria, and that farmers have diversified their farming to engage in higher-value specialty teas such as purple, oolong and white teas.