Zombo—West Nile, 1 June 2020: Extensive tea farming is gradually returning to West Nile sub-region. Whereas first tea estate was established in the area in 1968, it collapsed because of many factors.
In 2012, government tried to revive it by giving out tea plantlets to farmers. This also perished prematurely as there was no technical guidance from government to farmers, and there were also no available tea experts to spend time with farmers.
Mr Kakura Emmy Kizito, the former LC5 chair, Zombo district said during Alur King’s field tour last Friday that the resumption of tea in the district started way back in 2012 and it relapsed. According to him, there were no tea experts to train farmers.
The former district leader added that “people only supplied tea seedlings and farmers were not offered any technical knowledge and guidance.” He soon applauded EFOTI Limited’s intervention in resurrecting tea farming in the district and West Nile sub-region in general.
As one of the ways in ensuring that currently revived tea estates in Zombo survive for longer decades, 116 tea farmers have been trained by EFOTI Limited on Monday.
One farmer who benefitted from the training recommended for more trainings, applauding Mr Edwin Atukunda Beekunda for the knowledge and experience he has.
Kerfura Richard, a tea trader from Alangi sub-county in Zombo district, could not hide his excitement after attending a one day training.
“We were trained on how to dig holes, tipping, budding; how to prune, among others. He [Mr Edwin] was the facilitator himself,” Mr Kerfura told TND News after the training.
According to him, he is very optimistic tea farmers are going to achieve more with EFOTI Limited. “Edwin should continue with us. He’s experienced so, he has knowledge as well. I recommended him during questions and appreciation moment.”
From Alangi sub-county, 30 tea farmers were trained on Monday, and according to Mr Kerfura, they will invite EFOTI Limited to Alangi tea estate purposely to retrain them. This he added will be done in a near weeks.
One of the requisitions from the Monday training was that EFOTI Limited should train more people as tea trainers to “ease his work”.
Mr Atukunda told TND News that the Monday training was a recommendation by the Alur King, His Royal Highness Olarker Philip Rauni III when he toured a historical tea estate in Zombo.
The EFOTI Limited’s director added that the turn-up was great, adding that “he liked it.”
Minister of State for Northern Uganda—also the Zombo district Woman MP, Hon Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny’s tea estate hosted the training.
Summary of ‘subjects’ covered
- Effective tea husbandry and estate management
- Labour management and supervision
- Optimum utilization of resources
- Pruning, among others