The Tea Research Foundation Of KenyaThe Tea Research Foundation of Kenya (TRFK), was established in 1980 to replace the former Tea Research Institute of East Africa (TRIBA) with the objects "to promote research and investigate problems related to tea and such other crops and systems of husbandry as are associated with tea throughout Kenya including the productivity (yield), quality and suitability of land in relation to tea planting; and matters ancillary thereto".

Research focuses therefore on development of improved clones, appropriate technologies for improvement of yield (quantity of green tea leaf/made tea per hectare) and quality.

This is done through development of appropriate practices for tea production including breeding, clonal selection, correct plant nutrition, optimal crop husbandry methods, crop physiological studies, control of major pests and diseases, manufacture, marketing and utilization of finished product.


stratplanThe Foundation currently has got an operational five year Strategic Plan (July 2005-June 2010) that was reviewed in February 2009.This document charts the way forward by identifying the strategic objectives, strategies and activities for implementation over the plan period.

The Strategic Plan being a living document calls for mid term reviews in line with changing circumstances and need of the tea industry. The Foundation will also take cognizance of the government development agenda for the tea sub-sector as laid out in blue prints from time to time.

History Of Research In Tea Clones

History Of Tea ResearchTea was first introduced in Kenya around 1904. The early introductions were brought into the country in form of seed. Being highly self-incompatible and predominantly out-crossing, tea tends to produce highly heterogeneous progenies. The early introductions were therefore highly variable forming the initial populations of mixed genotypes. Uniformity and stability in yield and quality of the mixed genotypes could not be maintained; hence this necessitated the search for more uniform high yielding tea cultivars.

Organized tea improvement started with the formation of Tea Research Institute of East Africa (TRIEA) in 1961, and later the Tea Research Foundation of Kenya in 1980 with a mandate for research on all aspects of tea. The department of Botany was given the mandate of plant improvement hence the development of elite planting cultivars through breeding and selection.



TRFK’s Laboratory services main objective is to provide reliable, accurate and timely analytical testing services on all issues relating to tea throughout Kenya.

The following services are offered in the various laboratories:

Research Programmes

Research Programmes

TRFK has various research programmes, broadly divided into three clusters:

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