Kenya will soon commence export of about 5 million kilograms of speciality tea to China annually amid deepening bilateral trade, an official said.

Mwangi Kiunjuri, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, livestock and fisheries, said that Kenyan farmers are expected to earn 7 billion shillings (about 70 million U.S. dollars) from the export of purple tea to the Chinese market in the initial three years.

“This is expected to increase to over 30 million kilograms annually valued at an estimated 40 billion shillings in the next 10 years,” said Kiunjuri.

He spoke during a meeting with a delegation from China National Forest Industry Federation Ecological Tea and Coffee Branch and Fuzhou Benny Tea Industry Company Limited who are in Kenya to discuss strategies aimed at deepening trade in speciality tea.

The seven member delegation from China that is visiting Kenya from August 24 to September 1 will sign a memorandum of understandings (MoU) with five speciality tea processing factories to pave way for the export of the commodity to the Asian country.

Kiunjuri said that Kenya is keen to forge a robust partnership with Chinese enterprises to boost the growth of the nascent speciality tea market.

“We believe a partnership with Chinese companies will lead to the growth of the purple tea market segment. It is our desire to pursue enhanced access to the Chinese market for tea products,” said Kiunjuri.

He revealed that Fuzhou Benny Tea Industry Company limited agreed to provide machinery and expertise to five Kenyan purple tea processing factories during recent negotiation with Kenyan officials.

According to Kiunjuri, the Chinese firm also agreed to warehouse and market the Kenyan purple tea through an electronic trading platform.

Zhang Chaobin, Chairman of Fuzhou Benny Tea Industry Company Limited said that a vibrant Sino-Kenya trade in speciality tea will help fulfil key objectives of the Belt & Road Initiative.

“Our trade with Kenya in the speciality tea sector is complimentary. It will also boost friendship,” said Zhang.

Zhu Zhonghai, Secretary General of China National Forestry Industry Federation Ecological Tea and Coffee Branch said that high-quality speciality tea from Kenya will resonate with Chinese consumers.