3000 Kenyan tea farmers mobilize against climate change

The Rukuriri Tea Factory is mobilising their farmers to better deal with the onset of worsening climate change impacts. Creative Commons: musicfiend, 2006.

The Rukuriri Tea Factory is mobilising their farmers to better deal with the onset of worsening climate change impacts. Creative Commons: musicfiend, 2006.

As unpredictable weather conditions continue to hit Kenyan crops, one local tea factory is mobilizing their farmers to better deal with these challenges in the onset of worsening climate change impacts.

The Rukuriri Tea Factory enlisted in the help of outsourced experts who have experience dealing with precarious farming conditions, hoping that the transfer of knowledge leads to improved practices. With support from the Rainforest Alliance, a non-profit organisation operating out of New York City, 3000 of their farmers will undergo a training and certification program, which would in turn allow them to sell their tea to buying centres.

“Poor farming practices and land use in the protected areas have interfered with the natural ecological processes including continued river flow, erosion control, water purification, crop yield, and farmers’ health,” said Abraham Fundi, a tea farmer from Embu County and one of the agents hired to help out the Rukuriri Tea Factory. “We now need proper land use, better farming practices and waste management in the tea growing regions.”

Some tea farmers have grown increasingly frustrated with their crop turnout caused by unpredictable weather, even leading some to consider replacing them with different crops. Hoping to curb some of their frustrations, the trainings will teach farmers improved farming methods such as waste management techniques.

The Rukuriri Tea Factory, a fair-trade certified enterprise since 2008, currently employs 9000 farmers. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 500,000 smallholder tea farmers are currently “confronting enormous uncertainty about their livelihoods” throughout Kenya.


Related Stories

Costa Rica goes 75 days powered by 100% renewables

For the last 75 days, Costa Rica has powered itself using only renewable energy sources.

Read more »

Study: Climate change impacts Australian food production

Researchers predict that climate change will significantly impact the production, quality and cost of Australia’s agricultural sector.

Read more »

Carbon fee & dividend: a market-based fix for climate change?

The policy of a revenue-neutral carbon tax is gaining support from organisations as well as business and political leaders.

Read more »

Artists embark on Arctic expedition to showcase climate impacts

Holly Owen and Kristina Pulejkova are spearheading the “Switching Heads” project, which aims to capture community life in a changing Arctic.

Read more »

Thousands of Londoners march on Westminster

Last Saturday, 20,000 Londoners marched from Lincoln’s Inn Fields to Westminster to call for climate action.

Read more »

Oslo divests as Danes weigh ditching fossil fuels

The Norwegian capital has divested from coal, as a series of resolutions asks members of Denmark's major pension funds to 'drop their black money.'

Read more »

India to quadruple renewable capacity, double coal tax

India has plans to quadruple its renewable energy capacity to 175 gigawatts by 2022 while doubling the nation’s tax on coal.

Read more »