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Purple tea farmers eye value addition industry

By Titus Too | Published Tue, April 10th 2018 at 11:13, Updated April 10th 2018 at 11:21 GMT +3
Kenyan purple tea

A group of farmers have registered a company to promote the growing, processing, and marketing specialty tea.

Chai Imara Purple Tea Limited aims to promote the purple variety. 

According to the group, purple tea retails at up to Sh3,000 in the international market, compared to an average of Sh300 generated by processed green tea.

It is also said to be a health booster.

The farmers plan to invest Sh10 million in the new venture that has so far drawn more than 130 small-scale tea farmers in parts of Chesumei, Emgwen, and Mosop.

Through the Chaiyat ak Ketit (tea and trees) group, the initiative has seen more than 230,000 purple tea seedlings prepared for planting during the ongoing long rains.

Two weeks

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“We have concluded the requirements for the establishment of a plant for processing specialty tea. We have identified machinery and expect to be through in the next two weeks,” said Philomena Koech, the chairperson and one of the five directors of the company.

Ms Koech said the new tea firm had conducted feasibility studies and engaged a consultant who is a specialist in the processing of purple tea.

“It is a member of the National Specialty Tea Association. We aim to process seven types of teas, among them purple, red, yellow, white, and oolong tea,” said Koech.

The cottage industry will be located at Kamobo area, Chesumei constituency, and will target markets in China, Ireland, United Kingdom, and Russia.

“We urge Kenyans to sample purple tea and realise its benefits,” said Koech.

Amos Korir, another director, said the initiative had assisted expand acreage of purple tea.

The county has been a leading producer of green tea after Kericho and Bomet.

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