Kenyan tea industry loses over $19mn – traders
According to the statement of tea traders at the Mombasa Tea Auction on May 26, Kenya has lost the equivalent of about $19.4 million since clashes at multinational tea companies in the counties of Kericho and Bomet began.
The Ekaterra Tea company (formerly Unilever) made a statement of the suspension of their activities in the two regions, after the destruction of tea plucking machines by residents who were protesting job losses on May 22.
The tea industry is an important part of Kenya’s economy. According to the Kenya Tea Growers Association (KTGA), the current riot situation could have negative ramifications for the tea industry in general as they impede its growth. In addition, the farmers pointed to the high cost of seeds and fertilization as another source of stress, the Central Bank of Kenya reported in March 2023.
Local Kenyan farmers have told RT that they “are not even able to do business because there’s no profit” and they need to reduce the size of farming due to the costs.