Tea Farming

Tea Farming

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INTRODUCTION

Tea originates from the high regions of South West China, Myanmar and North East India. In Kenya tea ranks as the second most important cash crop in terms of foreign exchange earnings. Tea is used worldwide as a beverage after infusion of the leaves in hot water. Primarily, tea is drunk as black tea. But in East Africa tea is mixed with milk and commonly referred as white tea. Recently, organic green tea and instant tea are manufactured in increasing quantities.

PRODUCTION

Varieties Clone S616, Clone 7 and Clone 15/11
Seed Rate 9258 per hectare
Fertilizer Rate 60kg of phosphate per hectare
Planting Spacing 4ft x 3 ft with plant population of 10,000 per hectare
Husbandry Vegetative propagation is applied in Kenya for fast tea establishment and a uniform crop. In new plantings, weeding has to be done by hand until the canopy closes. A circle of 40 cm diameter around each tea plant must be kept weed free. The uprooted weeds are left between the rows as mulch. Mature tea is mulched with its own pruning.
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
Armillaria root rot Bark decays after pruning yellowish fungus on stem Ring bark of tree 1 year in advance
Expected Duration from Planting to Harvesting 3 years
Climatic Conditions Annual temperatures of 18-20°C. Optimum at rainfall of 2000-2200 mm. Humidity of 70 and 90%. altitude range of 1500-2200 m above sea level. Below 1500 m yields increase but the tea flavour decreases. The soil should be deep volcanic (1.8-2.0m), well-drained and aerated with PH 4-6.
Harvesting Tea is harvested by plucking three leaves. It is usually done every fortnight.
Post Harvest and Storage Tea leaves are very perishable and have to be dried immediately they are harvested. Most of the tea factory dry tea using wood. Its later processed.
Growing Regions Highlands of Central Province, Nandi hills and Kericho
Expected yields 1000 – 1300 kg/ha of processed tea or 5000-6000 kg /ha of green leaves

PROCESSING

Processing Tea leaves are processed into Tea beverage

MARKETING

Place Tea in Kenya is marketed to Tea factories. Marketing of Tea in Kenya is dominated by KTDA. However large scale farmers process their own tea. Tea is sold locally and also exported internationally.
Price Kshs 12,500 per 100 kg bag

CONSUMPTION

Products / By Products Tea Leaves and Tea bags, Green Tea Extract
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values Energy ; Carbohydrates ; Fat ; Protein ; Phosphorus ; Iron ; Pottasium  ; Thiamine (vit. B1) ; Riboflavin ;

FACTS & FIGURES

Total production of tea in Kenya in 2005 was 324,700 tons.To hectares under tea cultivation in 2005 was 88,000.

BUSINESS CASE

Income Per Hectare: Kshs 675,000 (5,000kgs * 125/-)Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 270,000 (40% of Income).

NET:    Kshs. 405,000 (60% of Income).

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income): = 200 kgs per hectare.

Income Frequency: Income spread throughout the year.