Tea farmers from Tigoni have called upon the government to embrace research in supporting them to improve quality and sales.

The farmers from Tigoni, under the umbrella of Limuru Highlands Trust, said their main challenge is production and sale.

The farmers spoke at Oak Ridge Gardens in Tigoni, Limuru, on Saturday, where they were engaging the Eco-Business Fund, which supports and funds tea farmers.

Led by LHT convener Njoki Wainaina, the farmers urged the government to ensure research done by the Tea Research Institute is implemented.

Wainanina faulted the government for not considering research on soil and the environment before procuring fertilisers and distributing them.

Wainaina said soil sampling is done after every three years advising the government to consider the status of the soil on farms while selling fertilisers to different farmers.

"The sale of subsidised fertilisers was a good idea, but research would have guided the government more on where to take which fertilisers. Some of our farmers have not bought it," Wainaina said.

On his part, LHT chairman Njoroge Ng'ang'a urged the government to work hand in hand with farmers so that they establish their main challenge.

He said inadequate information about international markets and lack of research has exposed the best tea in the world to brokers who exploit them.

 Further, Ng'ang'a said some countries buy tea from Limuru and add value to it before selling it expensively in other countries.

Wainaina further said local farmers in Tigoni have started adding value to the tea they produce and are also selling it locally and internationally.