There are new tea factories in Kenya being built : in Kericho, Bomet and Nakuru counties. It is expected that an additional processing capacity of 60 million kilos of leaf a year will occur when those four newly licensed factories start operations.
Sicily Kariuki, the managing director of the Tea Board of Kenya, said
“The extra processing capacity will be available in the medium-term. There is a lot of movement in the industry in terms of people seeking to make new investment in all the key areas of production and packaging. We also have applications for inspection of five packaging facilities, which is good news in terms of value addition…We believe value addition means higher returns and we hope the government both at county and the national level will support all initiatives aimed at achieving this goal…we intend to put up a new office to cater for areas such as Kisii and Nyamira. We are already working on a new structure that should be ready by June,”
In 2012, the country had a leaf processing capacity of 370 million kilograms against a total leaf production of 369 million kilograms. The country’s record tea output was 399 million kilogramsin 2010, and with these new tea factories in Kenya, the industry can comfortably process its total leaf production.
Interest in the tea business has risen following record bonuses paid out to farmers in the past two years. More people are growing tea while factories are under pressure to expand capacity to match the increased supply.
Helped by favorable weather, the country’s tea output jumped 109 per cent to 38.5 million kilogrammes in February compared with the same period last year.
These new tea factories in Kenya will really help tea production, both in quantity and labor needed to produce it. Kenya is one of the world’s top exporter’s of tea, and this will only help them do that much and more.