AFA raises tea output projections on higher rainfall

AFA raises tea output projections on higher rainfall

Kenya raised its tea production forecast this year to 420-450 million kg from its initial prediction of 416 million kg, due to an improved outlook for rainfall, a senior official said on Thursday.

Alfred Busolo, director general of the state-run agriculture and food authority, also told reporters on the sidelines of a tea industry conference that he expected “good” prices for the crop this year.

The East African nation, which is the biggest exporter of black tea in the world, produced 473 million kg last year. The crop is one of its top foreign exchange earners.

Drought, after low rainfall in October and November, which left 2.7 million people in need of food aid, has also driven up prices of basic food commodities including sugar, milk and vegetables.

The drought cut tea output by 36 percent in the first quarter to 90.09 million kg compared with the same period last year.

Busolo said improved weather would lead to higher output in the second half. Heavy rains have been pounding many parts of the country in recent weeks.

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