Tea Agribusiness in Mombasa
Did you know that 95 per cent of tea produced in East Africa is exported through Mombasa?
Mombasa county is welcoming investors to value addition on tea noting that the county has the largest tea auction in the world which is the only dollar denominated and presents tea from more than one country.
Despite being along the coastline, consequently having no highlands for tea plantations, Mombasa plays a key role in tea agribusiness as it harbours East Africa’s tea auction and it is also the major port for tea export.
According to Mombasa Invest, there are available opportunities for both local and international investors in packaging and blending of tea, with a focus on new varieties and markets, and production of extractives for use in the FMCG and pharmaceutical industries.
Additionally, creation of a Common User Facility within the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) also has great potential and would create benefits such as access to a 30% government subsidy on power bills, a dedicated Kenya Revenue Authority Officer which in turn will minimize waiting times for goods clearance, increased customs bond value thus increasing flexibility to hold stock and increased pull for various support and auxiliary services.
Through Kenya’s continued innovation, in 2015, the Tea Research Institute released ‘Purple Tea’, which claims enhanced health benefits compared to green tea and have received positive international attention.
A feature by World Bank last year noted that Purple tea has the potential to transform the lives and livelihoods of many Kenyan families that rely on tea production by generating higher income, offering opportunities to diversify crops, and stimulating competition among producers resulting to higher prices for farmers.
The beauty of the product is that it has a ready international market in China, Japan, the United States, and Europe.
The leading processing of purple tea is being done by James Finlay and Kenya Tea Development Authority. There are also small and medium-sized enterprises processing the tea.
Promoting the tea industry is a priority of the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) and the Government of Kenya and they indicate that specialty varieties like purple tea will account for up to 5 percent of all Kenya’s tea exports in the next three to five years.
This translates to sh 60 million per year from purple tea.