Skip to content

Kenya’s Tea Sector Shielded from COVID-19 Shocks

The Central Bank of Kenya has cut this year’s growth projection from 6.2% to 3.4%, while the IMF projects growth of just 1%. A nationwide dawn-to-dusk curfew and a ban on all movement in and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi – the four areas worst hit by coronavirus – means that many of the country’s businesses are working below optimal capacity and some are at risk of bankruptcy. Yet not all areas of the economy have been negatively impacted. Kenya’s sizeable tea industry has seen little of the disruption caused by Covid-19 to other sectors. Kenya is the world’s second top tea exporter after China. Most of its produce is shipped to Pakistan, Egypt, the UAE and the UK. From the western highland counties of Kericho and Bomet, the tea is transported by truck to the port of Mombasa where it is auctioned and loaded onto freight containers destined for the Arabian Sea.