President William Ruto has defended his international trips, blaming 'critics' for continuously labeling him a 'tourist.'

Ruto, who inaugurated the Lipton Tea Innovation and Technology Academy at State House in Nairobi on Thursday, ascribed the initiative to a trip he took to The Hague, Netherlands, last year.

PHOTO | COURTESY President Ruto

“I want to thank the Lipton fraternity for helping me answer some of my critics. Some people ask me what did you go and do in Netherlands, today you have helped me to answer those people," said Ruto.

“There are people who think I came to the Netherlands as a tourist; now they know that I spent very good quality time, and today we have a Ksh 500 million academy supporting our entire tea industry.”

According to the head of state, the Academy was founded last year as a collaboration between Lipton Teas and Infusions, a multinational tea manufacturer, and the Kenyan government.

PHOTO | COURTESY President Ruto

He further indicated that the collaboration would require Kenya to manufacture the tea while the global leader would export it.

The Academy will work with the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to strengthen the tea sector by researching and training farmers on the best methods for tea farming and value-added processing.

The head of state also guaranteed tea producers that they would make the maximum money now that they focused on tea quality rather than quantity.

PHOTO | COURTESY President Ruto

“We have an opportunity to ensure that we produce tea in a way that most earnings go to our farmers by making sure that they produce sustainably, good quality and which is environmentally sensitive,” Ruto said.