27 November 2017

Tanzania: Fall in Harvests Forces Tea Growers to Seek Expert Help

Photo: Nation Media Group
Tea pickers (file photo).

Dar es Salaam — Some tea growers are planning to recruit more farming specialists to boost production in the 2017/18 season.

The move follows a 17 per cent fall in the overall annual production for the year 2016/17 compared to 2015/16 harvests, according to the Tea Board of Tanzania (TBT) reported.

According to TBT, in 2016/17 production was recorded at 26.9 million kg down by 5.6 million kg from 32.6 million kg recorded during the 2015/16 season.

Speaking to The Citizen, Communication and Administration officer for Njombe-based Igominyi Tea Outgrowers Association (ITOA) Victor Chomba said the strategy would also help to improve the quality of tea to be produced. According to him, in last year, the association faced many challenges including lack of qualified manpower, and weather conditions that affected production greatly.

"As a result, we shall recruit specialists to help in mechanical operations that can help us to exceed the 2.9 million kgs produced last year," he said, adding that this year, they were adding 250 hectares to the previous 1072.

For her part Kissa Mwamfupe of Rungwe Small Tea Growers Association Project (RSTGA) said an adequate number of trained specialist would increase production.

"They will be able to issue professional advice on better ways of ending challenges brought by weather conditions and enable us to make more profits," she said.

The move by players would also boost export volumes from a decline in the year under review of 22.43 per cent compared to 2015/2016 when it stood at 30 million kg.

Data from the board shows that on average a total of 105,995 staff were employed in the tea Sub-Sector, including permanent and casual labourers in July 2016 to June 2017.


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