Tea Factories in Kyenjojo and Kanungu Districts
Following the intensified distribution of tea seedlings in Kyenjojo and Kanungu districts under NAADS and Operation Wealth Creation, the volumes of green leaf are expected to grow yet the existing tea processing factories in the districts will not be able handle processing such increased volumes. UDC has thus intervened in a bid to curb anticipated post harvest losses to the farmers by increasing the processing capacity of the two existing factories in Kyenjojo (Mabaale) and Kanungu (Kayonza) Districts by providing Tea Processing CTC Equipment with operational capacity of 600kg/hr, as third processing lines which will enable the factories handle the increasing volumes of green leaf. The equipment will be leased to the said factories under an Equipment Lease Financing Agreement entered into by the factories and UDC. The procurement process for the 3rd processing line equipments is in advanced stages and UDC has already identified a supplier.
Tea factory in Zombo and Nebbi Districts
Tea growing in the Districts started in 2013 with the encouragement of Government through the NAADS and Operation Wealth Creation. Available statistics indicate that over 16,134,722 tea seedlings have been successfully supplied to farmers in the region. Despite this potential, there is not a single CTC tea processing factory that is located in the region. Government through UDC is to set up a tea processing factory in the region. The intended partnership shall involve the tea out growers and will include the provision of a turnkey tea processing plant under Lease Finance Model of Public Private Partnership.
UDC spearheaded a multi-agency team intervention that comprised of staff from; UDC, NAADS/OWC secretariat; the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (Crop Production Dept); and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (Cooperatives Dept) with an overall objective of undertaking a 2 days training of tea farmers in the region that took place on the 15th and 16th March 2018 in order to achieve the following objectives;
- Facilitate farmers and other key stakeholders to appreciate the roles of UDC and the would be project roadmap that would have to be implemented to ensure the establishment of an economically viable CTC tea factory that would, once operational guarantee a ready market for the farmers’ fresh green leaf produce. In this case the socio-economic benefits that would be realized at both the micro (e.g. increased farmers income); and macro levels (e.g. increased contribution of the tea crop to Uganda’s GDP) would be emphasized to the farmers and other identified key stakeholders e.g. the local district leaderships and Alur Kingdom. This would answer the question of why it is important for the Zombo/Nebbi farmers to adopt the tea cultivation culture.
- Enhance the capacity of the target tea farmers in Zombo and Nebbi to further appreciate the crop husbandry requirements that are required to ensure that the supplied tea seedlings can survive and mature beyond 3 years (after which they could start the continuous harvesting the green leaf crop for sale to the proposed tea factory). This would provide the perquisites that have to be executed, without which there would be no economically viable tea factory.
- Enlighten farmers about the benefits of operating in farmers groups during the cultivation, harvesting, postharvest handling and sale of the tea crop. In this case the would be socio-economic benefits of farmers operating in cooperative groups and unions with an objective of harnessing the most out of the tea crop would be emphasized. This would enable farmers to appreciate the fact that they would be less susceptible to exploitation by middle men and therefore stand to gain more out of their efforts only if they operated under groups instead of operating as individuals.
- In line with (i), (ii), (iii) above, initiate a synergized inter-agency collaboration mechanism whereby all the mandated agencies and stakeholders would be able to further appreciate their mandates and roles and how best to ensure an expedited adoption of tea growing in the area that would result in the establishment of an economically viable CTC tea factory in the target region.