Kenya has set its sights on expanding its tea exports to China in a bid to bolster the sector’s revenues, according to a statement made by a government official on Friday.
Peris Mudida, the head of Kenya’s Tea Directorate at the Agriculture and Food Authority, revealed that the country is expecting to see an increase in volume this year as more Kenyan orthodox and black teas make their way to China.
Kenya is currently the world’s largest exporter of tea, contributing around 23% of the country’s total foreign exchange earnings, with the industry supporting approximately 5 million people both directly and indirectly.
With an annual production of over 450 million kg of tea, Kenya is ideally positioned to take advantage of China’s growing demand for quality teas. Recently, the country exported 1.4 million kg of tea to China, as reported by the Tea Industry Committee of the China Association for the Promotion of International Agricultural Cooperation in 2022.
This figure is expected to increase substantially in the coming years, given the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Kenya and a Chinese company.
The agreement envisages the enhancement of the manufacturing capacity of tea factories within Kenya, which will subsequently boost access to the wider global market for Kenyan teas.
“This partnership is of significant importance to the tea industry, as it creates opportunities for Kenya to meet China’s immediate and future tea requirements,” said Mudida.
Given China’s reputation as a discerning market when it comes to tea, Kenyan teas are expected to be received favorably by Chinese consumers, thus paving the way for further growth in the sector.
As Kenya continues to enhance its tea manufacturing capabilities and strengthen trade ties with China, the future looks bright for one of the country’s most important export industries.