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

Five exciting developments in green tech and renewable energy

In 2014 green tech and renewables achieved record growth and further technological development and implementation. Here are 5 exciting examples of recent developments in green technology and renewable energy.

Read more »

Renewable energy cost-competitive with fossil fuels, shows study

Renewable energy systems are now cost-competitive with fossil fuels in many parts of the world, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA).

Read more »

Investors urge big oil to face up to climate risk

A coalition of more than 150 BP shareholders, including Church of England and the UK’s Environment Agency, are today calling on the company to step up its response to escalating climate risks.

Read more »

Photographers take to Instagram to chronicle climate impacts

A new project aims to bring the impacts of climate change to the screens of smartphones everywhere.

Read more »

Global energy transition surges as renewables funding grows

Global investment in renewables soared in 2014, proving that plunging oil prices will not stop the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies.

Read more »

Stanford University urged to divest from all fossil fuels

In the latest move signally the growing force of the divestment movement, 300 Stanford university professors have called on the university to completely rid itself of fossil fuel investments.

Read more »

2015: A year for the climate

2015 offers a historic opportunity for the world to show it is serious about tackling climate change, and to signal the end of the age of fossil fuels.

Read more »