The Tea Research Foundation of Kenya (TRFK) and its predecessor the Tea Research Institute of East Africa (TRIEA) have been carrying out research and development activities on tea in Kenya for the last sixty years. During that period, the TRFK has developed technologies and best practices that when leveraged to the tea production system will make tea enterprises more viable, sustainable and profitable.
The good practices have been compiled into a booklet that each tea grower should have.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) refer to any collection of specific methods which when applied to agriculture produce results that are in harmony with the values of the proponents of those practices. This booklet presents a collection of principles for application in the on-farm production of tea that will result in safe and healthy tea products while taking into account economical, social and environmental sustainability.
The practices presented herein can be applied to a wide range of tea farming systems and at different scales. The practices are underpinned on four principles which include;
- The need for economic and efficient tea production systems for enhanced production of safe products.
- Sustenance and enhancement of the natural resource base in tea environments.
- Need for a tea production system that is viable and that contributes to profitability and sustainability of livelihoods.
- Need for a tea production system that meets cultural and social demands of tea growers.
This handbook therefore presents a list of tea farming practices that can be followed at each step in the tea production process. The practices presented herein will allow the tea grower employ a comprehensive management strategy in the tea production process.
It is expected that the wholesale adoption of the practices presented in this handbook will result in higher tea production, better quality tea products and more sustainable tea enterprises in Kenya.