“Every year we were in poverty and when I saw EFOTI who was supporting Zombo and having an agreement with Ker Kwaro Acholi, I decided with my members to join tea farming which in three years we are harvesting,” says Clara Oloya.
Gulu – 21, June 2021: Tea project has taken shape in Northern Uganda in recent years after the EFOTI director and his team decided to camp in the region.
In less than a year of Mr Edwin Atukunda Beekunda’s tea messages and words of hopes to farmers, leaders and different stakeholders in the region, especially Acholi sub-region, more than 700 acres of land are now available for commercial tea farming.
EFOTI has also heightened tea farming in Zombo district where more than 500 farmers have come stronger together under cooperative groups, and they (tea farmers) have seen their capacity enhanced.
In Gulu – Acholi sub-region, a number of farmer groups, education and cultural institutions have formally agreed to partner and work with EFOTI in promoting tea.
In a phone interview with this publication on Friday, Clara Oloya, the chairperson of Koch Goma Cooperative Society, says they have decided to do tea, after some consideration. They have been farming beans, maize and cassava.
“It is not easy to convince people and members. Every year we were in poverty and when I saw EFOTI who was supporting Zombo and having an agreement with Ker Kwaro Acholi, I decided with my members to join tea farming which in three years we are harvesting,” Clara said.
She added: “We shall support small holder farmers to use their land more productively – and a lot of income shall be realized.”
She reveals that 100 acres of land has been earmarked for commercial tea farming by the cooperative members. The group has over 400 members, and a functional bank.
Promoting mindset change in the communities, she says will be emphasized.
“Edwin is a brilliant man and he is going to change northern Uganda very well,” she said of the EFOTI director.
Clara Oloya is the chairperson of Koch Goma Coop. Courtesy photo.
Edwin Atukunda says northern Uganda should be hopeful, and committed after embracing tea.
The EFOTI director, with more than 30 years of experience in the tea industry, added that with support from government and all stakeholders, farmers should ready themselves for a serious business.
“Tea can be a big diversification to the people of Acholi,” he says.