In April, the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), in partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, launched an initiative worth 420 Kenya shillings (approximately $4.16 million) to train smallholder farmers in soil management, use of fertilizers, business skills, financial management, and farm management, in order to help them improve tea yields and therefore increase levels of income.
KTDA operates 67 factories in Kenya and buys fresh leaf from 560,000 small-scale growers who are also shareholders in the factories. Agriculture is a very important source of employment in Kenya and support for the sector is a priority for IFC in Africa.
The joint initiative began in 2012 and IFC made a further loan of $55 million earlier this year to finance seven small hydropower plants to provide electricity to KTDA tea factories. IFC funding has been made possible by the Government of Japan.
Tania Lozansky, IFC head of advisory for manufacturing, agribusiness, and services said, “IFC is committed to supporting companies like KTDA, which have the potential to improve living standards and reduce poverty for rural farmers.”