Luxembourg and Nairobi, 25 November 2022 – The development facility of eco.business Fund has partnered with Limuru Highlands Trust to host a sector roundtable bringing together more than 80 key stakeholders of the tea industry. Participants included tea farmers, input providers, financial partners of the fund, tea factory managers and tea value chain finance experts. The purpose was to enable discussion on pressing issues and opportunities within the sector and promote sustainable business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources and to adaptation and mitigation to climate change.
Tea is a key crop in Kenya contributing substantially to employment and exports. However, with increasing input costs, mainly for fertilizers and other agri-inputs, there is need for stakeholders to discuss potential models and alternatives on how to finance tea inputs to curb any potential ramifications driven by decreased tea productivity. These could be social difficulties, such as livelihood or job losses, or environmental repercussions, such as deforestation or water catchment degradation, as demand for land grows to increase crop potential.
The tea experts discussed with farmers the importance of sustainable tea husbandry, soil nutrition management, certification standards and varieties adapted to different regions. Record keeping was cited as an important practice for access to finance and market, as it provides stakeholders with essential information to make financing or purchasing decisions.