Kenya Tea Farmers Face Drought

Tea fields in Kenya. Photo by Samuel Phillips

News coming out of Kenya this week describes a dismal scene for the world’s largest producing country of black tea. Prolonged drought has led to reduced yields from farms across the country. Leaf-processing factories are only operating at half their usual production capacity. As a result of the decreased production, producers are only bringing workers in half the week to pick tea. Experts speculate that the short supply could push prices higher once current stocks from last year’s record breaking harvest sell out in roughly a month. Prices are currently set at $1.93 per kilogram, just $0.50 above growers’ operating costs.