The Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) 2nd Vice President Ms. Fatma Elmaawy is calling on all key players in the tea sector to join hands and work together in ensuring the progress and survival of tea production in the Country.
Ms. Fatma has decried the decline in export of a good number agricultural products in the country like cotton and pyrethrum which did well in the past, and contributed to the success of the Kenyan Economy.
Agriculture is the backbone of our country with tea currently taking lead as the top export Kenyan commodity. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has identified tea to be top in the list of Kenya exports and standing at 20.3% of the country’s total export.
In a meeting with East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA) Chainman Mr. Charles Kibandi and the Managing Director Mr. Edward Mudibo who paid a courtesy call to the Chamber offices today, Ms. Fatma Elmaawy stated that there has been a lot of conceptions and misconceptions about tea production and management in the country. However, said Ms. Fatma, there is need for both key players from government and the private sector to have interest of the country at heart and shun from fighting for individual gains, and instead work together in ensuring the tea sector in Kenya flourishes.
The Vice Chamber President has given an assurance that the Chambers is in the forefront in advocating for policies that are geared towards a productive tea sector and also championing for the rights ad interest of the Kenya business community that includes tea traders.
In the same spirit, the Chamber CEO Mr. Samuel Matonda has affirmed that the chamber of Commerce is keen on strengthening diversification of Kenya tea market.
“As the Chamber of Commerce, we do advocate for market diversification for Kenya products not only locally but globally”, said the Mr. Matonda.
The EATTA Managing Chairman Mr. Charles Kibandi has recognized that Kenya has great potential to grow exponentially in the tea sector and by jointly working together, it is possible to tap into a wider international market.
From the EATTA Managing Director Mr. Mudibo’s highlights, a majority of the East Africa Tea Trade Association members that ranges from tea producers, tea warehouse owners, packers and buyers/ exporters are also KNCCI members. Therefore, EATTA and KNCCI can collaborate in areas of advocacy and lobbying for mutual benefit of their members.
To empower the Kenya Exporters, the Kenya Chamber of Commerce is planning for a Tea Exporters Forum in September this year. The forum will provide a platform to deliberate on progress of the recent reforms in the tea sector, address the emerging challenges tea exporters face in accessing global markets and come up with modalities of tackling the existing challenges.
Also present in the meeting from KNCCI were; Mr. Onesmus Masinde, Mr. Patrick Nyangweso, Ms. Grace Mwanja and Ms. Joyce Kipsang’.