Tea farming in northern Uganda is gaining momentum, although much mobilisation and sensitization exercises are what should be done.
Unlike now neglected cotton, that was widely grown since colonial times and has had huge impacts on locals, tea too, can be a great substitute.
In their gradual steps to achieving that, The Edwin Foundation Tea Initiative Limited and Zombo Tea Farmers Limited have jointly come together.
As a result, the two aforementioned companies are now producing Zombo Tea, the finest and good flavoured (packed tea in 100g) from Zombo district, West Nile.
“In order to ensure sustainable tea production in the district (Zombo), it’s important to build capacity of tea farmers and extension staff,” joint statement by two companies read.
They further say – the objectives are to “establish and maintain tea mother gardens and fields in the district where tea has potential for production”.
Also, it adds: “To acquire appropriate machinery, tools and equipment for tea value addition”.
Asked about where Zombo Tea can be purchased, Edwin Atukunda Beekunda, the executive director, The Edwin Foundation Tea Initiative Limited – also a partner with Zombo Tea Farmers Limited says: “It’s sold within Zombo and Congo (DRC) but we are looking at importing good machinery to meet international standards.”
Speaking to TND News early this year, Mr. Beekunda says he plans to extend tea planting idea to more parts in the northern region, which move he noted “could foster greater development in commercial agriculture and transform the local community with the possible introduction of tea factories which would provide employment opportunities to young men and women in the surrounding districts of Nwoya, Amuru, Pader, Lamwo, Agago, Omoro, among others”.
By then, in Loro sub-county, Oyam district, there were 145 active tea farmers.