Tea farmers from Bomet County are set to start earning handsomely from the crop following a pact between the Government of Iran and Bomet County Government allowing Iranian investors to have direct access to local tea.
The agreement followed conclusive talks between Bomet Governor Dr. Hillary Barchok and Iranian Ambassador to Kenya Jafar Barmaki early September.
The farmers led by Betty Korir of Teganda, Ndarawetta Location lauded the move saying despite the efforts the farmers put in production of tea, they have had very little to show as low prices, resulting from exorbitant taxation, robbed them of their rightful gains.
Mrs. Korir said the agreement was expected to raise tea prices up from the current prices fixed at below Sh. 20 per kilogram.
According to Dr. Barchok, tea farming was one of the main economic activities in Bomet with the cash crop covering approximately 50 000 hectares.
Dr. Barchok said direct access to the Iranian market would uplift the living standards of the farmers that he said languished in extreme poverty despite producing tea rated as one of the best quality in the world.
He said the agreement had established bilateral ties with the Iranian Government whose market would also absorb horticultural crops stressing the County was seeking to expand its portfolio by leveraging on its agro-processing expertise.
Mr. Barmaki described Kenyan tea as the best saying direct access to it would enable most Iranians afford the product which was currently sourced from Europe at very high prices.
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