Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) is planning produce Japanese green tea to raise farmer’s income and also diversify.
KTDA Management Services Managing Director, Alfred Njagi says that the factory that is under construction is located at the agency’s Kangaita Tea Farm in Kirinyaga County.
The production factory will be used to pilot the processing of the specialized Japanese Sencha Green Tea which on average fetches a higher price, in the market than traditional black CTC tea.
“With Kenya being the third largest producer of tea in the world, KTDA is in the process of diversifying the kind of products we are putting in the market; having started with Orthodox tea and now green tea. This particular plant will process a special type of green tea called Sencha. When successful, this project will be rolled out to the smallholder tea factories,” KTDA Management Services MD Alfred Njagi said during a tour of the facility.
Construction of the new tea factory which started in August last year was expected to end in February but due to COVID-19 related disruptions completion date has been moved by at least a year.
The project is being supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) and KTDA.
The new factory will cost 330 million shillings, 45% of which is being provided by the Japan Development Agency (JICA).
China is a largest green tea producing country in the world at 480,000 tons of tea a year.