Pakistan lists Kenyan tea as essential, bolsters product's earnings

Tea processing at Gitugi Tea Factory in Othaya, Nyeri, May 15, 2019. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

Pakistan has listed Kenyan tea as one of its essential commodities.

The move will increase Kenya's tea export earnings after the Pakistan Central Bank approved the use of US dollars as the transaction currency in the tea industry.

Kenya exports 50 per cent of its tea to Pakistan, making it the country's largest market for the country's main export product.

Mithika Linturi, the Agriculture CS, praised the new policy, calling it a boon to the local economy and tea farmers.

"I am delighted to report that our recent trip to Islamabad has yielded results in just three weeks. I'd like to thank the Pakistani government for accommodating our requests during the trip," he said.

Linturi also recently led a Kenyan delegation to Pakistan, which included Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) officials.

He asked that tea should be classified as an international essential commodity during the meeting.

Chaudhary Tariq Bashir Cheema, Pakistan's Federal Minister of Food Security and Research, promised to boost bilateral trade between Kenya and Pakistan by removing trade barriers in the tea sector.

Wilson Muthaura, Managing Director of KTDA, praised the Pakistan government's new policy. "The new policy will increase volumes of Kenyan tea export to Pakistan and increase our foreign exchange leading to more earnings for our farmers," Muthaura said.

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