Tea trading cycle in Kenya is set be reduced to less than 30 days from two months, thanks to a partnership between the East Africa Tea Trade Association (EATTA) and TradeMark East Africa that will see activities at the Mombasa auction automated.
The Sh150 million agreement to automate trading is good news to tea farmers as the efficiency achieved will see them paid on time, negating the need to take costly loans to fund production.
In a statement to media houses, TradeMark East Africa said that the funding will see the association implement the integrated TradeMark East Africa
Speaking while signing the agreement, EATTA chairman Nicholas Munyi said the trading system will increase transparency in the business once implemented.
“The portal will simplify the tea auction with the added benefit of increasing transparency and thus gaining stakeholder confidence in the auction,” he said
The automation is in line with the East Africa governments’ trade facilitation initiatives that are focusing on reducing trade barriers in the region.
According to Frank Matsaert, CEO TradeMark East Africa, the system would improve efficiency in the commodity’s trade, hugely benefiting stakeholders across the chain.
“I am excited to see that tea, a major Forex earner for the region, will reach the breakfast tables across the world in an efficient and cost-effective way and that the farmers working hard on their farms will regain confidence in the trading process as a result of the transparency and accountability the system will give,” he said.
Tea producers in the region will have real-time access to information on sales as well as lower logistics costs as they will be able to access the information online, eliminating the need for travel to Mombasa.
TradeMark East Africa is playing a key role in creating an enabling environment for business activities in the region. A part from providing tech funding to various bodies to digitize their systems, the body is also involved in key infrastructure projects including LAPSET.