• June 18, 2024
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A Glorious Conclusion to the Inaugural Tea Belt Conference in Kericho

A Glorious Conclusion to the Inaugural Tea Belt Conference in Kericho

Kericho,

Friday May 24 2024,

KNA by Dominic Cheres/ Collin Kemoi

Latest innovations in the tea industry such as artificial intelligence (A.I.), automated tea picking, drone technology for crop monitoring, advancements in tea cultivation, processing, marketing, and sustainable farming techniques were yesterday lauded for their potential to revolutionize the tea industry.

The Kericho County Director for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Dr. Peter Cheruiyot said that there is a need for continuous research, innovation and technological support for tea farmers in the country to ensure sustainability in the industry.

Cheruiyot made the remarks at the inaugural Tea Belt Conference which was held at the Kericho Township Technical and Vocational College.

He emphasized the importance of policy reforms, investment in the latest climate resilient tea clones, pests’ resistant tea clones, improved labour practices such as use of tea picking machines and the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in tea farming.

“The strides the tea industries made are commendable, but we must remain vigilant and proactive in addressing the challenges we face such as dwindling global tea market, climate change, and aspects of lack of education and production skills,” Dr Cheruiyot remarked.

He said Tea Belt Conference and Innovation Exhibition should be made an annual event adding: “The conference has undoubtedly laid a strong foundation for the future, fostering a collaborative spirit that promises to drive the tea industry forward. As stakeholders return to their roles, the knowledge and connections gained here is expected to yield significant progress in the years to come.”

The Senior principal Kericho National Polytechnic Mr. Sammy Cheruiyot highlighted the crucial role educational institutions like TVETS play in driving innovation and research in tea production.

“Our students and faculty are at the forefront of research and development, ensuring that the tea industry remains competitive on a global scale,” Mr Cheruiyot said.

The Principal of Kericho Township Technical and Vocational College, Mr Shadrack Tonui thanked the industry participants for continued collaboration.

Participants at the conference included the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kenya Tea Growers Association (KTGA), Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Equity Bank, and Imarisha SACCO.

Courtesy; KNA

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