The Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) has expressed concern that tea production will dip significantly this year due to the prevailing drought.
The authority said with the prevailing harsh climatic conditions, production is expected to decrease by up to 50 per cent compared to the previous year.
KTDA Director Peter Kanyago said this will significantly reduce farmers’ earnings even as some factories within Nyeri contemplate laying off some of their staff to cut on the cost of production.
Kanyago said the only consolation would be if low production pushes the prices upwards.
He expressed optimism that this would happen given that tea prices have started stabilizing at the Mombasa auction after months of volatility.
At the same time, Kanyago encouraged more tea factories around the country to produce Orthodox tea to meet a market demand created by Russian consumers.