Tea sector team visits Kenya on learning tour


The Tea Association of Malawi (Taml) last week sent a team of senior executives and engineers on a study tour of Kenya to learn how the industry in that country is using alternative and more efficient sources of energy for production.

The Malawi tea industry is currently exploring alternative ways of efficient and sustainable sources of energy in the wake of persistent power blackouts experienced in the country that are costly to manufacturers as they have to supplement the power with generators.

The delegation visited Kenyan Tea operations in Nairobi and the hub of tea production in Kericho region, and focused on factories owned and run by large tea industries such as James Finlay and Kenya Tea Development Agency.


Taml chief executive officer, Clement Thindwa, said the industry wants to find ways of reducing costs of production.

“The Malawi tea industry is experiencing various problems such as power interruptions that erode our competitiveness on the global market, as cost of production rises,” said Thindwa.

“As you know that Malawi tea industry faces a number of disadvantages when it comes to producing and marketing its teas. These include inland transportation to ports, ageing and shortage of plucking labour among other things,” said Thindwa.


He said high and rising energy costs have significantly eroded the industry’s competitiveness and threaten its sustainability.

The tea sector is one of Malawi’s largest formal labour private sector employer with an average of over 50,000 employees. It is also the country’s second largest foreign exchange earner, after tobacco.

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