Agricultural produce down, prices up in H1

Coffee sales at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange in the five months through May dropped 7.29 per cent to 22,931 metric tonnes from 24,733 tonnes in the same period in 2016, provisional data shows.

The data, collated by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, shows that the average value of coffee per kilo in the review period rose by 14.66 per cent to Sh455.75 from Sh397.47 in 2016.

The rise in average per kilo price for coffee for the five months saw the cash crop exceed average prices recorded in 2015 which stood at Sh375.68.

“The quantity of coffee auctioned at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange declined from 4,562.82 metric tonnes in April 2017 to 1,639.23 in May 2017 while the average auction price decreased from Sh299.26 per kilogram to Sh276.43 per Kilogram over the same period,” the report stated.

Tea, one of the country’s leading foreign exchange earners, on the other hand, recorded a significant decline in production amounting to 24.97 per cent during the five months, to 160,374 tonnes in 2017 from 213,751 tonnes in 2016.

The data collated by the KNBS showed a kilo of tea was priced at an average Sh306.94 over the five-month period, rising 27.72 per cent or Sh66.61 compared to the Sh240.33 per kilo a year ago.

“The quantity of produced tea increased from 31,458 metric tonnes in April 2017 to 38,822 tonnes in May 2017. The price of processed tea rose from Sh296.83 to Sh304.48 per kilogram over the same period,” the report stated.

Increased earnings last year saw farmers earn a bonus of between Sh48 to Sh40 per kilogramme – about 50 per cent jump year-on-year.

Tea farmers were expected to earn a Sh66.99 billion bonus in 2016, the highest bonus in the past five years. This was due to a boost in total revenue for smallholder tea farmers in the financial year 2015-16 financial year which closed at Sh83.97 billion a 32.2 per cent increase from Sh63.53 billion in the previous year.

The Agriculture and Food Authority in February projected that annual tea production would fall by 12.05 per cent to 416,000 metric tonnes from last year’s 471,234 tonnes as a result of the prolonged drought.

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