Mombasa Tea Auction Adopts $2.12 Million Digital Trading Platform

The East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA) has launched a $2.12 million digital trading platform at the Mombasa Tea Auction. The platform was funded by the Danish International Development Agency (Danida).

The platform, dubbed the Integrated Tea Trading System (iTTS), will end the physical interaction of tea traders at the auction house, and increase the profits of farmers and dealers by cutting operation costs.

The digitisation further seeks to fill gaps in the current procedures, which are done manually including membership and cataloguing. This will reduce cost and time as traders would not have to travel physically to trade their teas.

EATTA chairperson Arthur Sawe says that in order to ensure sustainability, the cost of maintenance of the system has been distributed among users based on kilogramme of tea transacted, and appointment depends on the business model and level of utilisation by the membership.

The iTTS is expected to reduce the tea trading cycle by about 65% from the current 45 to 60 days, to less than a month, and also fast-track payments.

Users will only need simple gadgets such as mobile phones to trace the movement of their tea across factories and shipping companies and it has features to help dealers analyse market trends in the world.

The weekly Mombasa tea auction serves Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi, Ethiopia, DRC, Rwanda, Madagascar and Uganda.

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