After the maturing of its first tea bushes in 1989, Nyayo Tea Zones Development Corporation (NTZDC) waited for another 25 years before delivering its green leaf to its own factory.

Until then, all the tea grown by NTZDC was processed by KTDA and other industry players. That arrangement however changed in 2010 in the North Rift Region, when the Corporation opened its Kipchabo Tea Factory (KTF), marking the first tea manufacturing plant owned by NTZDC.

The factory processes green leaf from four catchment areas namely; Nandi North & South, Kakamega and Kaptarakwa. Through Kipchabo Tea Factory establishment, the Corporation became fully operational across the tea sector value chain, which includes green leaf production, tea processing, blending, branding and packaging tea products.In 2014, the Corporation embarked on a strategy, hinged on achieving maximum commercial potential, by embracing value addition that included; tea processing, blending, packaging and branding of all of its products using the unit located within KTF.According to the Factory Manager Mr. Joel Maina, the Nandi county-based plant processes 15 million kg of green leaf annually, earning for the Corporation an estimated Ksh 1.2 billion within the period.

Out growers contribute in excess of 54 % of the tea processed here underlining the lynch-pin role neighbouring communities play in sustaining the corporations’ conservation agenda.

-Mr.Saina I Production Manager

As of 2022, out growers at KTF numbered 3844 from an initial figure of 1503 registered in 2014 when they were first brought on board, an indication, members have more than doubled within eight years.