Stakeholders in Uganda tea sector have asked government for buffer fund amounting to $4million to boost tea sector production capacity.
Gregory Mugabe Uganda Tea Association Chairman says this money will be used to purchase fertilizers and mobilize production sector.
Players also demand for immediate regulation to guide tea sector saying despite private sector investment into the sector the contribution to exports is low.
“our humble appeal to government is to fast track comprehensive tea policy formulation process and have the tea sector regulated to address quality issues surrounding tea trade. We also want government to empower Uganda tea association financially to enable us build capacity of processors and producers,”Mugabe said.
“We also want government to support factory owners with subsidies to expand processing capacity of tea players to boost increased production.
Mugabe however said the tea industry is grappling with very low prices and this is happening while the cost of production is going up every year. He says this trend if continues unchecked the tea industry in the region will end up collapsing and more so in Uganda.
Uganda Tea consumption is less than 5% of what is produced
According to East African Tea Association and Mombasa tea auction in 2018,uganda total production was 72million kilograms sold.
Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde in related interviews said her Ministry is working on validating tea policy. “The long awaited tea policy is destined for validation in August and once completed will be sent to cabinet for approval. We expect by September the policy to be in place for implementation,” Kyambadde said.
President Yoweri Museveni advised tea players to take advantage of the prevailing good climate and increase production of tea to benefit from global tea market.
This was at the 4th African tea convention under the theme:African tea,transformation through global trade at Serena Hotel Kampala recently.
President Yoweri Museveni said the continents tea production exports are low. Currently Uganda has 44,000 acres out of 200,000 acres on utilization.
The total current production about 80million kilograms is over 3 times as much as it was at its highest in 1972 before the industry started collapsing and over 10 times.
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