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A Murang’a tea factory embarks on processing of orthodox tea

In effort to maximize profit, a Murang’a tea factory has embarked on production of orthodox tea which fetches more returns.
Kiru Tea factory located in Mathioya Sub County has installed a Sh100 million plant to process specialized tea with aim to venture in European and American markets.
Most KTDA factories in the country relies on production of commonly known Cutting, Tearing and Curling (CTC) tea which generates less returns as compared to orthodox tea.
Speaking during an Annual General Meeting on Thursday, the factory’s chairman Mr. Stephen Githiga noted that 10 percent of the tea being processed in the firm would be orthodox tea.
Githiga told farmers that the need to venture into new tea product is occasioned by fluctuation of tea prices at main buyers of Kenyan tea including Pakistan and Iraq.
“Political turbulence being witnessed in countries which buy our tea has affected farmers’ returns but with production of specialized tea, we will be open new markets from some European, American and Far East countries,” added Githiga.
He observed that a Russian delegation which showed interest in buying the orthodox tea visited the factory recently adding their production was expected to hit market by early next year.
“The civil works, installation of processing machinery and training personnel has been completed,” added the chairman saying they were optimistic they would be able to market the new product to the international market by January 2019.
Some brands of specialized tea the factory is eying to produce include green tea, purple tea, and black tea.
Kiru would be the first KTDA factory in Murang’a County to venture into production of orthodox tea.
“For our firm to remain relevant and competitive, we shall continue embracing technology and other emerging trade requirement,” remarked Githiga.
He encouraged farmers to deliver quality green leaf to the factory as production of orthodox tea needed quality green leaf.
Meanwhile, the chairman said a power plant which was being constructed by four tea factories from Murang’a including Kiru was almost complete and once operational, the factory would reduce cost of production by 20 percent thus giving farmers more returns.
The chairman downplayed the leadership wrangles which rocked the factory the whole of last year saying the differences between him and some directors did not affect operation of the factory as the firm paid the highest bonus this year.
“We expect the matters in court to come to end by February next year and I am ready to embrace those against my leadership so as to move this factory forward,” he further said.
Some directors moved to court to block elevation of Githiga as the factory’s chairman after he was also appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Sasini Company limited.
By Bernard Munyao/Catherine Githae

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