NATIONAL BUDGET 2017/2018
Tea Sector interventions by government:
(Extract from the Hon. Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development National Budget address).
In the tea subsector government will work with the Uganda Tea Association (UTA) and other private stakeholders, to increase the productivity of tea farmers. Priority actions will include mobilizing small holder farmers to access high yielding clonal tea varieties, and increase extension services with emphasis to increased fertilizer usage. These actions will increase the average smallholder farmer productivity from l’s tonnes per hectare (MT/ha) today to at least the 2.5 tonnes per Hectare obtained in tea estates.
Ugandan tea also needs branding and so marketed to increase returns from international tea auctions. Currently a kg of Uganda tea earns $0.5 less than Kenyan tea because of the absence of Ugandan branded tea.
These actions will lead to a seven-fold increase in the coverage of tea planted from the 28,000 hectares today to potentially 200,000 hectares and consequently increase exports from 60,000 tonnes to more than 400,000 tonnes in the medium term. This increase would earn Uganda more than $500 million annually in tea exports compared to the $80m today. Next financial year, I have allocated Shs 6b for construction of three (3) tea factories in Kisoro, Kabale and Zombo. In addition, Shs2b will be provided for Kayonza Tea Factory to set up a third production line. 5hs36.8b has been allocated specifically for purchase and distribution of tea seedlings.