Kenya tea output expected to drop 12 pct to 416 mln kgs in 2017

Tea production, tea farm

Kenya is likely to produce 416 million kg of tea this year, 12 percent less than in 2016, due to an ongoing drought, the agriculture minister said in a speech read on his behalf on Monday.

In the speech, Minister Willy Bett said production of the crop rose to a record high last year, at 473 million kg, due to good rainfall associated with the El Nino weather phenomenon in the first half of the year.

The East African nation, which is the biggest exporter of black tea in the world, had harvested 399 mln kg in 2015.

Export earnings for last year dropped to 120 billion shillings ($1.16 billion) after the average price per kg dropped to $2.36, from $2.98 the previous year, due to the increased supply, Bett said in the speech read by Raphael Lekolol, the chairman of the sector regulator, AFAA.

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Story By Reuters
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