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Tea Export from Kenya Gains Considerably High

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Agriculture in Africa
tea

The value of tea that Kenya sold in the first 11 months of 2023 surpassed the country’s total earnings in 2022, defying global shocks, according to data released Tuesday.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) reported that the East African nation earned 1.05 billion U.S. dollars between January and November 2023 from a volume of 511 million kg. This marked an increase from the 860 million dollars earned in 2022 from a volume of 410 million kg.

The earnings defied global shocks such as the Ukraine-Russia conflict, high inflation in developed economies and stifled sales in some key markets like Sudan and Russia.

While an increase in exported volumes helped raise the earnings, a further boost came from a weaker shilling. The local currency has depreciated 27 percent year on year against the dollar, trading at an average of 160, marking the biggest decline in 30 years.

According to KNBS, the bulk of the exports were recorded in March, May, August and November, when the country shipped an average of 50 million kg of tea. Kenya’s tea output in 2023 was boosted by El Nino rains, providing favorable conditions for growth, the Tea Board of Kenya said.

The country is expected to harvest more than 500 million kg in 2023, an increase from about 450 million in 2022. Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said recently that tea earnings would exceed 1.01 billion dollars in 2023, up from 860 million in 2022, following reforms in the sector, noting that the inflows from tea would aid the country in increasing its foreign exchange reserves.

Tea is one of Kenya’s main sources of foreign exchange, alongside horticulture, tourism and diaspora remittances, contributing to about 2 percent of the gross domestic product, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

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