Farmers pick purple tea leaves at a tea garden near Nairobi, capital of Kenya, June 16, 2017. Kenya introduced purple tea about four years ago. (Xinhua/Li Baishun)
NAIROBI, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Kenya and Chinese researchers will jointly develop new tea varieties, according to Kenya's agricultural research agency.
Eliud Kireger, director general of Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), said that his research body will work with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to enable Kenya to produce and process a greater variety of specialty teas.
"The Chinese have a lot of technology for green and orthodox tea which meets the changing demand of consumers who are now looking for healthier tea," Kireger said.
"So, Kenya is keen to tap on the rich Chinese tea culture in order to expand the role of the cash crop in the Kenyan economy," he added.
Tea farmers work at an organic tea garden in Pu'er City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, May 31, 2019. Many tea gardens in Pu'er City have entered harvest season. (Xinhua/Qin Qing)
A team of researchers from KALRO have also been invited by the Chinese Academy of Sciences to attend a tea conference in China later this month.
Kireger said that Kenya is one of the largest producers of black tea in Africa and a top exporter of black tea in the world.
"However, the changing consumer preferences means we have to constantly research to develop other varieties of tea in order to ensure Kenya has the best quality," he added.