Factors influencing adoption potential of purple tea in Nyeri County: A geographic perspective
Kenya is the world’s third largest producer of tea after China and India. Tea plays a major role in Kenya’s economy as it is the third major foreign exchange earner, behind tourism and horticulture and employs approximately four million people. Over 96% of the tea is produced and exported as black tea; largely for blending lower quality tea from other countries, leading to low market prices. Coupled with the effects of changing climate, the low prices have been threatening tea production. As a result, Tea Research Foundation of Kenya (TRFK) has developed the purple tea clone (TRFK306/1) which is not only high quality and high yielding but also drought, frost and diseases resistant. The release of purple tea clone to farmers in 2011 was in response to the Vision 2030 and MediumTerm Plan (MTP) 2008-2012 which targeted new tea products diversification and value addition so as to enhance tea productivity and to boost agricultural economic growth. Unfortunately, the adoption of the purple tea by farmers has remained relatively low with the awareness standing at 30%. To a large extent, this has been attributed to poor marketing of the purple tea and inadequate processing plants for the product. The need to enhance adoption potential on purple tea has therefore, led to emergence of researches largely focusing on economic aspects such as marketing and establishment of processing plants. However, other important factors influencing adoption potential such as climate change and demographic characteristics of the farmers have received less attention. This study investigated the socio-demographic factors affecting adoption potential of purple tea in Nyeri County from a geographical perspective.