Uganda is known to have a favourable climate for tea growing. The Tea plant which was introduced in the country by 1900 had by mid 1950’s Tea become Uganda’s main estate crop. Uganda has only exploited about 10% of its potential for tea growing and has about 21,000 ha of land under tea growing.
Uganda produces about 10,000 metric tonnes of tea per annum and about 90% of tea is exported.
The world tea production is about 3 billion kgs and East African countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania contribute about 11%. The largest producer is India with about 28% of the world’s production and the largest Tea exporter is China with about 17% of the world’s total exports.
Importance of Tea
Tea growing is important in the following ways:
- It is a cash crop for small farmers and it improves people social-economic condition
- It creates employment for a number of people
- Tea is a foreign exchange earner being an important export product.
As a result of the importance of the sector, the Government through Uganda Tea Growers Corporation (U.T.G.C) has extended support to the tea sector with particular emphasis to the small-scale tea farmers. The smallholder-tea-farmer-based sub-sector has been proven to be quite viable, resilient and adaptable. UTGC extends the following support to the farmers:
- Assists tea farmers to access credit and other key farm inputs.
- Encourages tea farmers to grow varieties of high quality tea.
- Provides extension service to smallholder Tea farmers.
- Carries out training of smallholder tea farmers.
- Establishes and efficiently operates tea factories.
- Establishes tea nurseries and supplies seedlings to farmers.
- Constructs and maintains feeder roads for the purpose of collecting greenleaf.
The tea growing areas
The tea growing areas include the following:
- Lake Victoria Crescent in the districts of Mukono, Mubende, Mityana, Masaka and Wakiso.
- The Lower Slopes of Rwenzori Mountains in Kabarole District.
- The Western Rift Valley in the districts of Bushenyi, Kyenjojo, Kibaale, Hoima and Kanungu
- Nebbi /Zewu.
Tea factories for smallholder tea farmers.
The tea factories for the smallholder tea farmers include the following:
- Igara Tea Factory in Bushenyi District.
- Kayonza Tea Factory in Kanungu District.
- Mpanga Tea Factory in Kabarole District.
- Mabale Tea Factory in Kyenjojo District.
The smallholder sector produces about 20% of the Tea in Uganda.
Tea factories for the bigholder tea farms
The tea factories for the bigholder teams include the following:
- Dayalbhai Madanji Inv.Co.Ltd in Kampala
- Eagle Investments Ltd in Jinja
- Hoppers Tea Company Ltd in Kampala
- Kijura Tea Estate in Fortportal
- Kinkizi Development Co.Ltd in Kampala
- Madhvani Group Of Companies(Tea Division) in Kampala
- McLeod Russell (U) Ltd in Kampala
- Mpanga Group Tea Factory in Fortportal
- Namayiba Tea Estate Ltd in Kampala
- Rusekere Growers Tea Factory Ltd in Forportal
- Rwenzori Commodity Ltd in Kampala
- Samaliya(Kiganja)Tea Estate in Kampala
- Toro&Mityana Tea Co.Ltd (TAMTECO) in Kampala
- Uganda Tea Corporation(UTC) in Kampala