“Tea is a lifetime crop not like other cash crops,” Ojok Jacob says, calling upon leaders to be exemplary before those they lead.
Nwoya – 14, July 2021: On Monday 12, July 2021, the Nwoya district local government leaders officially launched the commercial tea farming in the district.
The event took place at Latoro Community garden in Barapwo sub-county in Nwoya. Representatives from Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) attended it, and dozens of registered tea farmers, among other stakeholders.
The Edwin Foundation Tea Initiative Limited (EFOTI), a company championing tea farming in Northern Uganda, provided technical information and learning during the launch.
EFOTI has been in the region for almost three years now: building the capacities of tea farmers, teaching them on how to establish and manage a tea nursery bed, ensuring enough tea seedlings are available, value addition, marketing, among others.
Ojok Jacob, Secretary for Community-Based Services for Nwoya district talked to TND News on phone on Tuesday.
“First of all, yesterday we launched tea. District Commercial Officer, community leaders from sub-county attended it,” he said.
“Personally, i had that vision of introducing a new cash crop because of interruption of farming patterns for over 20 years due to LRA insurgency in which many people lived in Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) camps, and change in rainfall pattern.”
In Nwoya district overtimes, he says, “we have been complaining about elephants destroying crops. As a district, we found it will be viable if the community embraced tea which is not eaten by elephants.”
Ojok says, from the calculation EFOTI shared with them during the launch, one acre of tea fetches over shs800,000 in a month. He termed it “good money” compared to money one would get from other cash crops.
“Tea is a lifetime crop not like other cash crops,” he added, calling upon leaders to be exemplary before those they lead.
“As leaders, we have to be an example and we plant tea before the community,” he empathises, revealing that he is ready to plant four (4) acres soon.
Edwin Atukunda Beekunda, the EFOTI director and an expert in tea termed it a “milestone” and “timely” initiative in Nwoya.
He says the people of Nwoya and Northern Uganda should embrace tea farming because already there is an available market for green leaf.
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- NUSAF, UWA partner with EFOTI to pilot tea farming in Nwoya
So far, over 1,300 acres of green leaf is available for harvesting, Edwin told this publication, recently.
Orach Emmanuel, the Nwoya district LC5 Chairperson says he is impressed with the initiative – one of the government initiatives where money is being put into good use.
“We will give them (EFOTI and farmers) all the support, political and others,” the district chairperson told TND News, Tuesday.
The LC5 chairperson said he asked EFOTI not to abandon the baby after six months, adding that they will have to enter into an agreement.
“When a baby is born at home you don’t abandon the baby. We have seen the value of tea changing lives of people in Western Uganda. So, EFOTI should not go after six months as they told us.”
He says they were taught that once acre of tea gives about shs800,000 per month. “This is good.”
About four sub counties boarding the National Park will undertake tea farming, the district chairperson said.
On the recent UBOS statistics showing some districts in Northern Uganda languishing in poverty, Orach disagrees.
“I don’t think the UBOS finding was good that we are the poorest region (district), I want to make the ‘turnaround'”. “We want Nwoya tea, here it is going to create jobs for the people.”
Asked how committed he is, he replied: “I have to live by example. I already have seven acres of land around the park; people can come and learn.
Editorial: Don’t miss the next edition, as the district chairperson talks about “the future, challenges, and more.”