Farmers pick fresh tea leaves at a tea plantation on the outskirts of Nairobi, capital of Kenya, Sept. 30, 2008. (Xinhua/Xu Suhui)
NAIROBI, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Kenya and China are set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on tea trade in July, a Kenyan official said on Tuesday.
Head of the Tea Directorate Samuel Ogola told Xinhua in Nairobi that under the agreement Kenya tea's industry will receive training on how to process tea that will appeal to Chinese consumers.
"Kenya has high quality tea but we lack expertise in high quality processing. So the training will help Kenya to penetrate the huge Chinese tea market," Ogola said on the sidelines of the MOU signing agreement between the Export Promotion Council and Tea Directorate.
Ogola said that China has a rich tea growing culture that spans over 3,000 years, which Kenya can borrow to expand its tea sector.
The agreement will be signed in China by Kenya's Ambassador to China and the China Tea Marketing Association.
Currently, Kenya exports between 4 and 5 million kilograms of tea annually to China out of a production of approximately 472 million kilograms.
Kenya has been facing technical barrier to access the Asian nation due to standards.
"Chinese standards are a bit too high for Kenya in terms of the rare earth metals that are present on Kenyan soils where there is tea cultivation," he said.
He noted that Kenya has held discussions with China, so that Chinese standards can be relaxed so as to allow Kenyan tea exports.