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Enterprise providing a better life for smallholder tea farmers in Nandi County

  • By Pamela Okutoyi
  • May 4, 2021
  • 0 Comment
  • 105 Views

Tea is the world’s most popular drink (after water), with about 70,000 cups drunk every second. From its origins as an ancient medicinal crop in China, tea has spread far and wide – many of us cannot face the day without a cup.

Kenya is among the top exporters of tea, earning the country billions of dollars in the export market. The industry employs millions of people, but for some small-scale farmers, earnings from the products are often dire. Eldo Tea recognizes this challenge and is committed to ensuring better returns for small scale tea farmers.

A floral aroma, a hint of herbs, and balanced bitter notes give green, purple and herbal teas from Eldo Tea their rich and complex flavour. The speciality tea company brings you authentic Kenyan teas that carry with them some unique properties that have tremendous health benefits and offer smallholder farmers of Nandi County a chance to increase their income and create wealth.

Eldo Tea partners with smallholder tea farmers in Nandi County to grow and process purple and green camellia Sinensis speciality teas. Caroline Turmoi, the co-founder of Eldo Tea, says that the efficacy of these teas is guaranteed to meet the health and wellness needs of people who want to live a healthy lifestyle, thereby creating value and wealth for farmers’ prosperity.

“Most small-scale tea farmers in this area often have very small plots and rely on the nearby tea estates as their connection to the broader market. These farmers, therefore, have very little leverage with which to improve their incomes,” the Co-founder says.

 

The enterprise trains farmers to grow speciality teas. The high altitude of Nandi County coupled with its proximity to the equator allows for higher levels of UV bombardment and causes the plants to produce high levels of antioxidants to protect the leaves from damage. Eldo teas, henceforth, are one of the most nutritious across the globe.

Caroline says that since the launch of Eldo Tea in 2013, the company has been connecting with local independent smallholder tea farmers to provide organic tea to clients in Nairobi, including restaurants and hotels. “We are very happy to engage with community members and help farmers access markets for their cash crops as well as create alternative avenues for wealth creation,” she says.

“Assuring farmers to grow a crop that has a ready market is confident enough that a household is going to get their revenue, the community will get employment, and those are the things that Eldo Tea is happy to be involved with as an enterprise,” Caroline explains.

The partnership with Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC), Caroline says, is very timely, and she is really grateful that it has offered her a chance to expand her business. In future, she hopes to set up a tea processing facility to process and pack tea and oversee each step in-between source and cup.

In addition to teas, Eldo Tea is farming rosemary for commercial export. The enterprise looks to increase the number of farmers from whom they source goods while continuing to develop into an international brand supplying traceable, single-origin, sustainably produced speciality teas.

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