Tea and coffee farmers will soon earn more from their produce after the government introduces massive value-addition of the cash crops before export.
Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has said that foreign nations currently earn more from Kenyan tea and coffee by processing the produce through value-addition before being exported to the international markets.
Linturi who was speaking during a fact-finding mission at the Dubai Multi-Purpose Commodity Center (DMCC) in the United Arab Emirates where Kenyan tea and coffee are processed for value addition before being exported to the international markets said that Kenyan farmers can only earn more if the government introduces large scale processing of value addition to Kenyan cash crops.
"We have made a tour at the Dubai Multi-Purpose Commodity Center and I'm impressed by the expertise and professionalism in the value addition of products here especially Kenyan tea and coffee," said Linturi.
The CS said that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will be established at Dongo Kundu in Mombasa to start the value addition of tea and coffee products before they are exported.
"Adding value to Kenyan teas and coffee before export is a viable route of growing the country's manufactured exports, transforming the tea and coffee sub-sectors in Kenya, and ensuring food security," added Linturi.
According to the CS Kenya is the world's leading exporter of tea accounting for 28 per cent of Global tea exports, but her tea export earnings are relatively lower compared to the other key tea-producing countries.
Linturi said that his Ministry is seeking to increase the agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) earnings from Sh2.9 trillion to Sh3.9 trillion through the promotion of product diversification and value addition along the agricultural value chains, including the tea value chain.
Linturi was accompanied by Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA Chairman, David Ichoho, and CEO Wilson Muthaura among other officials from the Ministry.