The Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) in collaboration with the African Capacity Building (ACBF) launched a capacity needs assessment report on Kenya’s tea sub-sector
Titled ‘Transforming Agribusiness, Trade and Leadership: A Capacity Needs Assessment of the Tea Value Chain in Kenya’, the report was a result of an analyses of the institutional and human capacities in Kenya’s tea sub-sector value chain.
The study was undertaken by KIPPRA policy analysts from the Productive Sector Division led by Dr Augustus Muluvi.
The KIPPRA Executive Director Dr Rose Ngugi pointed out the key role the tea sub-sector plays and its contribution to Kenya’s economic growth.
Dr Ngugi added that the study was aimed at enhancing the sub-sector’s productivity, which in turn contributes to the strengthening of Kenya’s agribusiness trade and enhancement of its competitiveness internationally as envisioned in the Vision 2030.
While presenting the report, KIPPRA Policy Analyst Nancy Laibuni highlighted various capacity challenges in the production, processing and marketing of Kenya’s tea as well the policy and institutional gaps in the value chain.
Among the recommendations include the need to: Fast-track the agriculture policy and the national tea policy, boost local consumption by enhancing a tea-drinking culture, introduce technology to cut down the high cost of production, enhance productivity and profitability of the tea value chain, invest in research and expand markets both domestically and internationally.
In response to the report, Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat Director General Dr Julius Muia said there was need for future studies to give a detailed breakdown of the distribution of income/earnings along Kenya’s tea sub-sector value chain as well as focus on the best-practice value chains that Kenya could borrow from.
Dr Muia also asked the KIPPRA team to ensure the findings of the report are incorporated in the MTP III framework.
Among the other observations and concerns raised during the launch include the need to invest in herbal teas; the fact that replacing ageing bushes was quite expensive, costing approximately Sh17 billion; the need to start walking the talk by implementing the many research findings; the need to invest in marketing Kenya’s tea as opposed to focusing only on increasing production and the need to innovate and venture into new markets.