Zombo—6, July 2020: TND News has since 2018 been updating the globe on the challenges and progress made so far in reviving tea farming in northern Uganda.
Unlike other regions, especially western part of the country, northern Uganda had paused its tea agri-business with farmers citing lack of government support, lack of enough plantlets, and inadequate technical support from stakeholders, among others.
Some of the above challenges are now gradually being addressed, with 2019 registering a “pleasing breakthrough” according to Edwin Atukunda Beekunda, director of The Edwin Foundation Tea Initiative (EFOTI) Limited.
Mr Atukunda, an expert in tea venture alongside his company EFOTI Limited, has ensured that northern Uganda reclaims its position in Uganda’s “tea map” soon.
He has built the capacity of over 300 tea farmers, including government prisons’ officials, district and cultural leaders in Zombo and Gulu districts. Over five districts in the region are considered for the same in coming months.
- EFOTI Limited takes tea growing message to Lugore prison officers
- Alur King, Olarker Philip Rauni III visits historical tea estate in Zombo
- West Nile leaders agree to support tea growing
In Zombo district, West Nile sub-region, Hon Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny who’s the Northern Uganda State Minister has come out to be a devoted tea (farmer), including giving hopes to fellow tea farmers.
Through her tea estate, measuring over 60 acres, farmers have gained tea related trainings and for that, she has offered her plantation to be used for further trainings and says it’s open to every farmer in the region.
“All tea farmers who may want to learn how to manage their gardens are free to come to Minister’s garden for free training, they should use this opportunity when the experts are still doing it for free because of the arrangement with the Minister to support her people,” Mr Atukunda who’s managing the Minister’s estate told TND News on Monday.
He says this is being done because of love the Minister who’s also the Zombo district Woman MP has for her people and the entire region.
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“She is the reason tea project has resurrected and for that matter, farmers should think beyond because all can be well with her support,” he added.
The Minister is thrilled and more interested in value addition since the production is increasing rapidly.
Aneniwu Patrick, the District Agricultural Officer (DAO) for Zombo district, has thanked Mr Edwin Atukunda Beekunda for “doing a great job” and also reviving a historical tea garden established in 1968 and was left to die.
“….and bringing it back into bearing from old stumps that was giving us poles for building houses, but now we can see something happening…” he said during his field visit to a historical tea garden on Sunday.