Business
Govt to formulate tea policy
Publish Date: Aug 14, 2014
Govt to formulate tea policy
A worker sorting tea leaves
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Darious Magara

The state minister for trade, David Wakikona, has pledged to make drastic changes in the tea sector. Although tea as a cash crop contributes $135m annually to the country, it has no body or policy that manages it like sister cash crops such as cotton and coffee. 
 
As a result, tea factories and estates have reported losses in the recent past following the drop in the commodity price on the international market. 
 
Meeting tea estate owners, processors and farmers at the trade ministry offices in Kampala recently, Wakikona said his ministry will formulate a tea policy quickly. 
 
He noted that they have started to develop a Cabinet memorandum, a document that will carry information about the tea sector to the Cabinet.
 
Wakikona added that the Government will hold quarterly meetings with tea stakeholders to discuss challenges facing the sector. 
 
He said the Government also plans to rehabilitate roads in tea-producing areas to make the transportation of the commodity easy and affordable. Wakikona said the trade ministry will work with the Uganda Export Promotions Board to find market for Ugandan tea. 
 
“We shall ask the Uganda Development Co-operation, an agency run under the trade ministry, to feature tea issues prominently. This body is in charge of supporting industrialisation and value addition,” he added. 
 
The chairman of the Igara Growers Tea Factory, Arthur Muguzi, said farmers and tea factories have not benefited from international trade because of several trading barriers. Ugandan tea is sold through auction at Mombasa. 
 
“While Uganda has about 200,000 hectares of viable land for tea growing, only 28,000 hectares are under production,”
 
However, tea production has more than doubled, from 33 million kilogrammes in 2005 to 70 million kilogrammes in 2013.
 
“The 112% surge pushed the nation’s leaf export, making Uganda the third largest exporter of tea in Africa, after Kenya and Malawi.” Naboth Mbagirenta, a director at Igara Growers Tea Factory, said on top of registering losses due to the fall of tea prices on the international market, the sector is heavily taxed, yet other economies give incentives to players in the tea industry. 
 
Billy Singh, the chairman of the Uganda Tea Association, said the Government needs to give specific attention to the sector to sustain the production of tea.
 
RELATED STORIES:

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Using metrics to inform business strategies
Many executives let emotions guide their decisions, even when millions of shillings hang in the balance. As a leader, you cannot afford to make decisions based on gut feeling but data....
IMF optimistic about Uganda’s reforms
Recent improvements in public financial management in Uganda are expected to boost revenue collection and the quality of government investments, the International Monetary Fund has said....
Dr Maggie Kigozi: Obstacles in businesses are jewels
Dr Maggie Kigozi, director Crown Beverages Ltd has challenged the youth to consider obstacles in starting and running businesses as opportunities to create better lives....
How to widen Uganda’s tax base in a large subsistence economy
Uganda’s tax base remains small and the country is grappling with measures on how to widen the tax base in light of decreasing donor funds and pressures to finance the national budget....
UAE Exchange Uganda observed World Food Day
UAE Exchange, the leading global remittance, foreign exchange and payment solutions brand observed World Food Day on 16th October. This year the theme was Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”...
Nigerian cleric warns Uganda over oil curse
Rev Father Edward Obi, a leading civil society activists fighting against the effects of the oil curse in Nigeria has warned Uganda that since oil has been discovered Ugandans are not safe from the negative effects the resource brings....
Should the absence of bride price prevent couples from wedding?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter