KTDA makes 20 million kilos more tea sales despite dollar shortage
The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) tea sales have risen to 169.7 million kilos in the eight months to February 2023 despite dollar shortages toughened market in key export destinations.
This represents a 13.3 percent growth compared to 149.8 million kilos sold in a similar period last year.
Key markets for the agency including Pakistan and Egypt have been impacted by shortages of US Dollars impacting the offtake of the beverage from Kenya.
“KTDA-managed factories produce high-quality tea that fetches a premium price. We of course have a reserve price that reflects this quality and also ensures tea farming is a sustainable venture. Strengthening of the US Dollar against local currencies in major consuming countries like Pakistan has put more pressure on their purchasing power,” KTDA Sales and Marketing General Manager Francis Muthamia said.
Following these challenges, the Agriculture Ministry and KTDA recently successfully lobbied for the classification of tea as an essential commodity in Pakistan meaning that tea importers in that country will be allocated dollars to import tea.
This is among other marketing efforts by the Agency that have resulted in the positive growth recorded during the period despite the challenging market.
The KTDA board introduced a reserve (basement) price of USD2.43 per kilo of made tea in July 2021, informed by a deteriorating market that had seen selling prices nearly slip below the cost of production. Coupled with other reforms, the reserve price has since supported a recovery of the price of teas for KTDA-managed factories and led to improved payment to farmers.
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