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East Africa's tea trade auction set to go digital

By Prossy Nandudu

Added 4th December 2016 06:27 AM

The automation is expected to reduce the tea trading cycle by about 65% from the current 45 - 60 days to less than one month.

East Africa's tea trade auction set to go digital

The automation is expected to reduce the tea trading cycle by about 65% from the current 45 - 60 days to less than one month.

The East Africa Tea Trade Association (EATTA) has signed a financing agreement with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) that will enable automation of the tea auction in Mombasa. TMEA will provide financing of US$ 1.5 million.

The automation is expected to reduce the tea trading cycle by about 65% from the current 45 - 60 days to less than one month.

Reduced delays will ensure that farmers receive timely payments negating need to take loans to finance their producer operations.

The Mombasa tea auction is the world's largest black tea auction and handles about 75% of tea exported through the port of Mombasa covering shipments from the EATTA member countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, DRC, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Madagascar and Mozambique. 

In 2015, the auction handled more than 350 million kilos of tea, providing a platform through which more than one million farmers in Africa could sell their tea, before shipping it across the world.

The proposed integrated Tea Trading System (iTTS) will encompass the entire tea export processes including pre-auction, auction, post-auction and a Business to Business marketing network. Already mentioned above

Speaking at the signing ceremony, EATTA Chairperson Nicholas Munyi said, "This portal will simplify the tea auction with the added benefit of increasing transparency and thus gaining stakeholder confidence in the auction." 

TMEA CEO Frank Matsaert added that TMEA is committed to boosting intra- Africa trade and also East Africa's trade with the world by reducing the barriers to trade.

"Automation of key trade systems is one way that has enabled us move closer to achieving this vision. am excited to see that tea, a major  forex  earner for the region, will reach the breakfast tables across the world in an efficient and  cost effective  way and that the farmers working hard on their farms will regain confidence in the trading process," he said.

The automation is in line with the East Africa governments' trade facilitation initiatives that are focusing on reducing barriers to trade.

Once implemented, the platform will ensure that, stakeholders of the tea auction including farmers, buyers and sellers, receive real time information on what is happening on the auction bourse, which will boost confidence in the process.

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