The decision by the United Nations (UN) Security Council to eliminate sanctions against Iran could be a huge help to tea producers who can now access new markets. Kenya in particular could see big benefits.
These sanctions had been in place for a decade as a result of concerns about nuclear weapon production in Iran. Kenya was hit hard as they had been a large source of Iran’s tea imports.
“The resumption of the trade between Iran and Kenya is good news for farmers since this was our largest tea market for the commodity,” says Jefitha Karua, Zone Five Director of Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) in The Standard.
In mid-February, Bloomberg Business reported that exports to Iran from East Africa could have a 600% jump by 2019. Iran finds itself in one of the top tea-consuming nations so its market is highly coveted. Tea exports are already Kenya’s second-largest source of earnings from foreign-currency. “Iran has a huge population with over 100 million people making it a niche market for the Kenyan tea,” Edward Mudibo, managing director of the East African Tea Traders Association (EATTA), told Business Daily Africa.