Determinants of market choices for tea leaf produce: ( a case study of small scale tea growers in Nyamira county)
Nyanchieng'a, Evans Toto
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This study assess the impact of tea leaf hawking and the challenges that small scale tea growers are facing on identifying markets for their tea leaf produce. The need for this research therefore arose from the realization that marketing of small scale tea leaf produce is currently faced with various challenges; key among them green tea leaf hawking between the small scale tea growers and the tea out growers/ agents on selling of tea leaf. The research focuses on the role of small scale tea growers under the management of Kenya Tea Development Agency Limited and agents /tea out growers for Multinational tea growing companies engaged in the buying and selling of tea leaf produce in Nyamira County, Kenya in the last ten years. The main objective of this research was to investigate the factors which influence small scale tea growers on the choice of market for their green tea produce. The researcher used descriptive method of research design to collect primary and secondary data from the small scale tea growers and agents of multinational tea companies and both qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis. The study found out that the small scale tea growers are influenced by government policies, tea collection services, tea leaf prices and mode of payments, access to the tea buying centers and the quality of tea leaf produce to determine the choice of market for their tea leaf produce, It is therefore recommended that the government should constantly review policies and regulations in the small scale tea sub sector to sustain their market share, remain competitive and improve the standard of living of the small scale tea growers.