The Star (Nairobi)

1 February 2013

Kenya: Purple Tea Variety Introduced in Nandi

A leading Tea company in Nandi has introduced a new variety dabbbed "Bubble Tea" which is expected to increase farmers out put and profitability.

Speaking during a Tea farmers open day in Nandi yesterday, DL Koisagat Tea company chairman David Lang'at distributed one million seedlings to small scale farmers in Nandi.

Lang'at told farmers that bubble tea's green leaf is estimated to fetch Sh100 a kilo compared to the normal green tea which fetches between Sh12 and Sh20 a kilo.

He said the variety, which was introduced to Kenyan farmers two years ago by Tea Research Foundation, has a high medicinal value and its demand is extremely high in Europe, Asia and the Far East.

Lang'at said the new crop will turn round Tea farming in Keny. He said in areas like Embu and Meru where farmers have been planting bubble tea, an acre of tea bushes earn farmers as much as Sh10 million a year.

Consequently, Langat said DL Koisagat will invest Sh100 million to construct a single line tea factory for the processing of this new variety.

He asked NEMA to speed up approval for the construction of another tea factory in Kaptel saying it will help farmers reduce over-heads they incur while transporting tea to far off factories. Lang'at said the company will also venture into the construction of another factory at Siomo, Kericho.

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