Before attending the International Climate Conference at Karatina University, women in Kericho, Kenya, faced a harsh reality. Chesiele, a tea farmer, said that women were deprived of the opportunity to enter the tea farming industry.
“We, women, couldn’t secure land, and it was tough getting a foothold in the industry,” she explained. “I needed help. We were also losing our jobs in tea plantations due to the adoption of machinery, which further exacerbated our challenges.
The Karatina University’s International Climate Conference included specialized training on tea farming, eco-friendly practices, and the cultivation of purple tea. Through this symposium, which was supported by the south-south exchange mechanism of Climate Action Africa, women like Chesiele not only gained knowledge but were shown new market opportunities. Their resilience was encouraged, and they learned to minimize costs and maximize profits.
The change was significant. Chesiele, now equipped with knowledge and skills, not only increased her tea yield and embraced eco-friendly farming practices, including purple tea.
Women who had lost their jobs to machinery are now on the road to being successful farmers and employers. Their participation at the Karatina International Climate Conference led to a network of empowered women who could now access international markets.
Chesiele and other conference participants are moving forward as entrepreneurs, leaders and agents of change in her community. Challenges remain, but they face them with newfound knowledge and unity. The future for the women tea farmers in Kericho is promising, and they’re well on their way to brewing success, one cup of tea at a time.