NTZDC Board of Directors and top management last week went on scheduled field visit covering zones in the South and North Rift. The team led by the Managing Director visited blocks in Kuresoi, Nandi, Kipchabo Tea Factory, Kasokwony/Saboti and eneded the tour at Kaptarakwa.
The main objective of the tour was to acquaint the newly appointed Directors with the Corporation's field operations and also to appreciate the tea buffer conservation model.
At Kuresoi, the Directors witnessed first hand the untended tea plantation following the cessation of operations at the new buffer establishment. MD noted that the tea plantation established in 2016 was still intact, and would be easy to rehabilitate once operations resume.
Managing Director reiterated the harmony between the Corporation and the buffer adjacent communities as partners in conservation, and assured them that there were high level consultations in government to resume operations in the area.
At KipchaboTea factory, Board Chairman thanked the management and staff for scaling great heights in the achievement of the Corporation's mandate during his tenure. He reiterated the need for integrity across all operations and stated that the tremendous growth witnessed in the last six years was a result of strategic planning and commitment across the board. Chairman wished everyone well in their future endeavours, noting that the Corporation was poised to be a giant in the tea and conservation sector.
During the field trip, the Board also toured Kipchabo Tea Factory and selected blocks in Nandi North, Kapsokwony/Saboti and Kapratakwa zones, all of which are undertaking massive tea expansion and in-filling programmes.
a. NTZDC Directors visit North Rift Zones.
b. NTZDC Directors at Kipchabo Tea Factory.
c. Directors at a purple tea plantation in Kaptarakwa.
d. At a tea nursery in Saboti.
Nyayo Tea Zones Development Corporation participated in the 2nd African Tea Science Symposium and Exhibition held at the Green Hills Hotel in Nyeri. The two-day event held on 22nd and 23rd November, 2018 brought together local and global players in the tea industry who shared the latest innovations, knowledge and industry trends under the theme “Harnessing Innovation and Technology to Spur Growth in the Tea Industry”.
Among the sub-themes tackled by various speakers at the symposium include Innovative Technologies in Tea Production, Product Diversification and Value Addition, Tea Consumption for Health, Food and Nutrition Security and Social and Economic Impacts of the Tea Industry. Other sub themes were Impact of Climate Change on Tea: Adaption and Mitigation, Tea Trade, certification and Policy and Emerging Issues in Tea Industry.
NTZDC was represented by delegates drawn from operations, commercial and corporate units.
A. Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga & PS Andrew Tuimur.
B. Staff at NTZDC booth.
C. A tea buyer samples tea at NTZDC stand.
The annual NTZDC Performance review and awards celebrations event took place last week at Bontana Hotel in Nakuru. Pomp and sheer glamour characterised the week-long event featuring representatives from the head office, Kipchabo factory, Mau establishment and the various zones. The Managing Director presided over the review and celebrations where the winners in various categories were awarded at the end of each day's sessions.
The 2018 celebrations were of a unique kind given the historical production performance in which over 30 million kilograms of green leaf were plucked across the zones, thus achieving the highest production figures since inception.
Speaking at the event, Managing Director Mr. Peter Korir lauded the field staff for returning the best green leaf production in history, which he noted was the product of sheer hard work and commitment. The MD expressed satisfaction with the good performance, adding that the bar had now been raised as the Corporation aims for the 35 million kilograms mark in the year ending June 2019.
The top performing zone in 2018 was Kaptarakwa, followed by Kakamega. Coming third was Nandi South Zone. The top performing supervisor was Edwin Kevogo while the Employee of the year went to Godfrey Kilach, both of Nandi South Zone.
Nyayo Tea Zones Development Corporation participated in the Nairobi International Trade fair which ran from October 1 to 7, 2018. The corporation’s exhibition stand along the busy Kenyatta Drive at Jamhuri Park was a beehive of activities with show goers getting to learn from our staff on the buffer model of forest conservation and the corporation’s achievements in the tea sector. The stand also had two outlets for selling Chabo and Eco tea brands to the customers.
Organised by the Agricultural Society of Kenya, this year’s show ran under the theme “Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade”. The agriculture and trade fair guaranteed show-goers to find the best array of agriculture products and services, the emerging technologies and innovations, advanced equipment in agriculture and a rich network of diverse business ventures among many other exciting products and services at the show ground. The showcase also offers show visitors an opportunity to meet people from different countries and backgrounds, hence creating a platform for interaction and exchanging of ideas and experiences.
The Nairobi International Trade Fair (NITF), the largest trade fair in the East African region is a seven day event held annually every last quarter and offers opportunities for regional, continental and global exhibitors to display and demonstrate their services and products.
President Uhuru Kenyatta officially opened the trade fair on Thursday October 4, 2018.
Nyayo Tea Zones Development Corporation ushered in the 2017 Easter celebrations in style by playing host to Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Willy Bett. The Cabinet Secretary visited the Corporation's new buffer establishments at Olposimoru and Kuresoi in South East Mau on 13th April, 2017 accompanied by NTZDC Board Chairman Mr. Mathew Iteere and Managing Director, Mr. Peter Korir. The CS and his entourage used a KFS chopper in the tour of the expansive buffer zone established by the Corporation from 2015 following a Presidential Directive to protect the Mau forest using the buffer concept.
The Cabinet Secretary, Board Chairman and Managing Director first landed at the Olposimoru establishment in Narok County where they were recieved by the Buffer Project Manager Mr. Sammy Murithi and West of Rift Regional Manager Richard Mwongera, while Project Site Manager Elvis N'geno received them at the Kuresoi buffer site. The Board Chairman and MD took the CS through the buffer belt at the two sites where he appreciated the immense amount of work done to actualize the establishment including raising millions of tea seedlings, site clearing, land preparation and planting.
Speaking at the event, the Cabinet Secretary commended the Corporation's management for moving with speed to implement the massive conservation project around Mau forest despite the great challenge of inadequate resources. The CS promised to ensure that the buffer project is completed as planned by increasing the budgetary allocation from his Ministry. He noted that there was need to accelerate tea planting to stretch the buffer during the ongoing rain season in order to maximize on resources and output during the planting window. The CS, who planted a tree to commemorate his visit, reiterated that conservation of Mau forest was a major priority of the government since the Mau ecosystem supports millions of livelihoods in Kenya and the East African region. The CS thanked NTZDC for playing a leading role in implementing what is now considered a lasting solution to the perennial problem of forest encroachment and evictions along the forest borders in South west Mau. Noting that the Corporation will put up tea processing factories, upgrade road networks as well as other infrastructure to support the new buffer, the CS urged local residents to take advantage of the new developments and enroll their children to schools to increase their chances of employment beyond casual engagement when the opportunities arise. Mr. Bett thanked the local communities and their leaders for supporting the project since its inception, noting that everyone in the country and beyond stands to benefit immensely with successful protection of the vital water tower.
Addressing the event, Board Chairman Mathew Iteere thanked the government for extending its support to the Corporation in implementing the buffer project. He assured the Cabinet Secretary of prudent utilization of resources availed. The Board Chairman also thanked NTZDC Management for accelerating the project whose, noting that the impressive results of the upcoming buffer were clearly visible. Managing Director Peter Korir thanked the Cabinet Secretary for creating time to visit the biuffer project. The MD recognized the great moral and financial support to the project by the Ministry, adding that the Corporation was keen on completing the buffer in Mau and commence the other buffer in Embobut forest. MD and Chairman also thanked the local communities for support to the project, and assured them of many benefits including Corporate Social responsibility projects to support their welfare e.g. education and health.
Pomp and fanfare marked the handing over ceremony of a classroom project at Nyayo Tea Zones primary School in Kakamega Zone on 11th September, 2017. The Std. 8 classroom is a Corporate Social responsibility project by Nyayo Tea Zones Development Corporation to the school which is named after the corporation and is situated next to Lurambi tea block in Kakamega County.
The CSR project is a culmination of NTZDC Board of Directors visit to the school in March 2016 on a fact finding mission on how to support learning in the school. The handing over ceremony was presided over by NTZDC Board Chairman, Mathew Iteere and Managing Director, Peter Korir in the presence of area MP Hon. Titus Khamala, the school board of management, teachers, parents and students. In his remarks, Board Chairman Mr. Iteere said that the classroom project was the beginning of a long term relationship between the corporation and the school, reiterating that the Corporation will closely follow academic and other co-curricular performance in the school going forward. MD Peter Korir said that the Corporation's presence in the locality was beneficial to adjacent communities, adding that projects of mutual benefit will be supported in future.
Class 8 pupils immediately moved into their new class with brand new furniture which they said will motivate them to perform well in the KCPE examinations later in the year. The Corporation wished the candidates well in the examination, and pledged to keep in touch with the school management on the learning progress.
It’s a complete circle for Nyayo Tea Zones Development Corporation in the tea sector value chain as the State Corporation launched its tea products for local market sales. This milestone was achieved on November 24th, 2014 when the Corporation’s sales team was flagged off at Kipchabo Tea Factory in Nandi County where the blending and packaging unit is located.
The launch of the tea products is part of the Corporation’s strategies to realize its full commercial potential by venturing into value addition of its tea products. The Corporation is now fully operational across the tea sector value chain which includes green leaf production, tea processing, blending, branding and packaging of tea products.
The Corporation has released five brands for local market sales namely;
- Chabo Tea
- Chabo Tea Bag
- Eco Tea
- Eco Tea Bag
- Najma Tea
The tea products will initially be available in retail outlets in the West of Rift and Nairobi and will gradually be rolled out to the rest of the country.
His Excellency the President Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the official opening of Kipchabo Tea Factory on Friday, 11th July, 2014. The President also presented to the Corporation’s Board Chairman Mr. Mathew Iteere and Managing Director Mr. Peter Korir the ISO 22:000 Food Safety Management System certificate awarded by the Kenya Bureau of Standards to the factory.
The colourful ceremony which was held at Kipchabo Factory grounds was also attended by Deputy President Hon. William Ruto, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mr. Felix Koskei, Principal Secretary in the State Department of Agriculture Mrs. Sicily Kariuki, NTZDC Board of Directors, management, staff and other invited guests including tea farmers from the factory catchment area.
On arrival at the factory, President Uhuru Kenyatta was taken through the buffer concept model by the Corporation’s Managing Director Peter Korir. The President was also shown a variety of products produced by various community groups in the Corporation’s income generation programmes which involves local community groups in its areas of operation.
After cutting the ribbon to signify the official opening of Kipchabo Tea Factory, the President was taken on a guided tour of the factory where he was able to see the processing lines installed at the factory. The President was also shown the recently installed tea packaging machines in readiness for the launch of the Corporation’s value addition unit that will produce and package branded teas for local and international markets.
Speaking during the event, President Uhuru Kenyatta hailed the Corporation’s success in conservation of the country’s gazetted forests which he said has gone a long way in preserving the country’s biodiversity and mitigated against the adverse effects of climate change. President Kenyatta added that the buffer concept was a unique, innovative and sustainable method of forest conservation and directed that the buffer zones be established along other forests experiencing human-ecosystem conflict such as Mau and Embobut.
The President also lauded the value addition ventures the Corporation was undertaking saying it will go a long way in creating jobs for the youth in addition to earning more premium for Kenya’s quality tea. On his part, Deputy President William Ruto encouraged Kenyans to drink more tea, adding that the beverage had many medicinal and health benefits. He extolled Nyayo Tea Zones Corporation for the great milestones it has made in the tea sector, adding that the value addition venture stood to gain a lot from the huge local market potential as domestic consumption of tea was growing exponentially.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mr. Felix Koskei noted that the occasion underscored the importance of Nyayo Tea Zone Corporation mandate which is to enhance the conservation of forests and protection of the environment. Agriculture Principal Secretary Mrs. Sicily Kariuki added that the Ministry of Agriculture has continued to view the tea sub-sector as a key base for both income generation and food security in the country; and lauded the corporation for constructing over 70 tea-buying centers in the 17 zones where the corporation and community sell their tea as a way of helping local farmers.
Board Chairman Mathew Iteere welcomed the President and other visitors to Kipchabo factory. The Chairman indicated that the construction of the factory had consolidated the Corporation’s position as a key player in the tea industry locally. "We consider ourselves a model state corporation in the country that has remained profitable and by sustainably conserving the environment while at the same time engaging in commercial activities to support its operation," said Mr. Iteere who concluded by thanking the management for their hard work which leading to ISO 22000 certification. He assured the management and staff of support from board in their future endeavours.
Managing Director Peter Korir outlined some of the Corporation’s milestones since its inception. “Our unique conservation concept has gone a full circle through a model that integrates agriculture, conservation and community empowerment initiatives into a sustainable venture that has been highly successful,” said Mr. Korir.
NTZDC Board Chairman Mathew Iteere and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mr. Felix Koskei then presented an interim dividend cheque to H.E the President Uhuru Kenyatta on behalf of the exchequer.