Buhweju to get additional 54 million tea Seedlings
NAADS is set to distribute an extra 54 million tea seedlings in Buhweju district to boost the production of tea in the region. This was disclosed by the Executive Director NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi during a monitoring visit to Buhweju district to assess the impact of NAADS interventions in the tea sector in the region.
In a meeting with Buhweju district leaders, Dr. Mugasi said tea is one of the country’s major cash crops especially for the export market and it has made progress in the last 10 years and that is why Government through NAADS has continued to make interventions in the tea industry with the aim of expanding the area under tea and fill gaps in existing tea plantations.
Since 2014, NAADS has procured and distributed over 400 million tea seedlings in 21 tea growing districts resulting in an increase in leaf production with reports of overproduction of leaf in some districts over the existing tea processing capacities, as is the case of Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Kanungu and Buhweju.
In the case of Buhweju, NAADS has so far distributed 45,000,000 tea seedlings resulting in increased production of green leaf. The only operating tea processing factory – Buhweju Tea Factory is overwhelmed by the increased production of green leaf. The factory has a capacity of 68,000 kilograms of green leaf per day. However, because of the increased production of green leaf, the factory received between 80,000 and 100,000 kilograms of green leaf forcing the factory to operate beyond capacity.
There are 3 new tea processing factories that are under construction and once they are opened, they will be able to consume all the tea produced in Buhweju.
Dr. Mugasi said with the establishment of 3 new tea processing facilities in Buhweju, NAADS will distribute an extra 54 million tea seedlings to farmers in the district to feed the factories with green leaf. He explained that the seedlings will be distributed in a phased manner for a period of three years.
The tea interventions together with farmers’ own initiatives has stimulated establishment of more tea factories from 27 to 33 factories including 2 new ones established in Kabale and Kisoro with the support from Uganda Government. Some tea factories have either added or are the process of acquiring additional processing lines due to increased leaf production.
Additionally, 15 new tea factories are being established and are at different levels in several districts including; Kyenjojo (2), Buhweju (4), Kanungu (1), Bushenyi (1), Rukiga (1), Kisoro (1), Ntungamo (1), Kamwenge (1), Mbarara (1) and Luwero (1).