The process of constructing the proposed Sh.300 million Kakamega Tea Factory at Madala area, Shinyalu Sub County will commence soon after a pre-tender site visit by the prospective bidders.
The County Trade and Industrialization Executive, Kassim Were said the factory will have two parallel processing machines for both black and orthodox tea.
“For black tea, the process is Cut, Tear and Curl (CTC) before undergoing fermentation, while for orthodox tea the leaf is pounded by rollers and does not undergo fermentation,” he explained.
The Tea factory, one of Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya’s flagship projects, is expected to begin crushing in 64 weeks.
The county executive stated that 18 companies have so far expressed intent to be considered for construction of the project.
He said upon operationalization, the factory would create employment opportunities to the residents as well as guarantee farmers better prices for their green leaf.
Were is now urging farmers in Ikolomani, Khwisero, Lurambi, Malava and Shinyalu Sub Counties to take advantage of the factory and improve the tea bushes.
He said the setting up of the factory was in line with the county government’s policy of diversifying agricultural activities so as to enable farmers have multiple sources of income.
“In the county, tea farming is mainly practiced in Shinyalu, Ikolomani and Khwisero Sub Counties where it is sold to Mudete factory in the Vihiga County,” he said.
By Sammy Mwibanda