Bomet County plan on exporting second consignment of tea to Iran

Iran, Kenya explore avenues of mutual economic co-op.

Tea Farming in Kenya

Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok has revealed plans of delivering the second consignment of tea to the Islamic State of Iran in a bid to solidify economic cooperation between the two countries, especially in the agricultural sector.

Towards the end of September, the county chief travelled to the Middle East country with a delegation of 15 people to deliver the consignment.

The consignment was flagged off from the county two months ago, and in September 30, Dr. Barchok ensured that the delivery of the tea in the foreign country was beamed live on social media as evidence that he meant business.

The deal to start selling tea directly to Iran had kicked off a heated debate which saw the Ministry of Agriculture through Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya weigh in on the matter.

Munya had termed the deal as fake, saying the county neither involved the ministry nor Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA). He asked the farmers to ignore it.

The CS said there was no tea from Bomet that passed through the Port of Mombasa to Iran.

Planned expansion

Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) hosted a meeting with a Kenyan trade where they revealed plans to launch a joint venture in the field of tea in Lahijan, Iran.

Speaking in the meeting ICCIMA Deputy Head for International Affairs Mohammadreza Karbasi pointed to Kenya’s significant position in East Africa, and said:

"This country is one of the top industrialized countries in East Africa and one of the influential members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).”

“Considering its crucial and strategic port of Mombasa and its port infrastructure, Kenya can facilitate maritime transport for economic operators in the East African region,” Karbasi added.

Given the current conditions and capacities of Kenya in various sectors such as overseas agriculture, food processing, as well as livestock and meat production, there is a very good opportunity for economic cooperation between Iran and Kenya, the official stated.

Karbasi put the two countries' trade in 2020 at about $60 million, noting that considering the two sides' great capacities it is possible to increase the level of trade up to $500 million next year.

According to the official, Iran can meet Kenya's needs in the fields of oil derivatives and bitumen, petrochemical products, health tourism, medicine, and food.

Kenya, on the other hand, can meet the needs of the Iranian market in the field of cocoa, coffee, tea, grains, as well as food and livestock products.

“Given the good cooperation capacity between Iran and Kenya, a ceiling of $6 billion is projected for the economic exchanges between the two countries, but its realization requires a long-term view of the officials of the two countries and the necessary bedrock for the activities of traders in Iran and Kenya,” he added.

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