Kenya stirs adventurous and romantic thoughts. Made famous by Ernest Hemingway in “The Green Hill of Africa” – it is a land most associated with the safari and big game hunting. Today, the safaris are equipped with cameras not guns. A land of great beauty and great contrast Kenya is an independent republic and belongs, like Canada, to the Commonwealth of Nations.
Situated in East Africa, astride the equator, it is bounded on the east by the Indian Ocean and has a total area of 224,960 square miles (528,646 square kilometers) and a population of over 12 million.
Kenya became independent in 1973 under the leadership of its first president, the late Jomo Kenyatta. Jomo Kenyatta also wrote a well known book entitled, Facing Mt.. Kenya (Vintage Books, N.Y., 1956). In it he discusses Kenya’s past and future. The book is named of course, for Kenya’s most famous landmark, Mt. Kenya which is snow capped the year around in spite of the fact that it is near the equator.
Tea was introduced to Kenya in 1903 by G.W.L. Canine and in the 1930′s commercial planting began. Although planting was cut back in 1933 because of a depressed market, tea is today one of Kenya’s most important cash crops.
In Kenya there are both large plantations and what are called smallholdings. Kenya is the largest producers of tea in Africa, and it has quadrupled its exports over the last decade. Tea is also one of the most important drinks in the country itself.
The Tea Board of Kenya and the Tea Research Institute work constantly to help the industry, and the returns from the industry, help the country.
For more information visit AFFA Tea Directorate