EFOTI launches tea farming in Lyantonde

(Last Updated On: 27 May 2023)

Lyantonde, May 27, 2023: Lyantonde is one of the districts alongside Isingiro, Kiruhura, Lyantonde, Mbarara and Ntungamo in the cattle corridor.

In the district, cattle keeping is supplemented alongside matooke, sweet potatoes, cassava, beans; millet and maize farming.

Agriculture is the major source of livelihood for the population in the district who look at it for both subsistence and economic purposes.

However, one key cash crop largely left out is tea. Tea, according to the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), is an important crop commodity in Uganda.

Close to 80,000 farming households, NAADS says are involved in tea production and it supports over 150,000 skilled and unskilled labourers.

In Uganda, The Edwin Foundation Tea Initiative, widely known as EFOTI is advocating for tea farming. EFOTI, known among tea farmers in Zombo and stakeholders in northern Uganda, says it has taken the tea gospel to Lyantonde district.

“Against all odds, now in historical cattle areas introducing, planting and promoting tea growing for the first time in history,” Edwin Atukunda Beekunda, an agriculturist and director of EFOTI, told TND News, Saturday.

“When passion drives you, nothing can stop you,” he added during an interview.

Atukunda says, while he is doing a lot in Lyantonde district already, he is still waiting for “those in control” to respond to President Yoweri Museveni’s directive of last year on tea so he can continue supporting farmers extensively, especially in districts tea seedlings were to be distributed.

“Our journey might stop here. After meeting President Tibuhaburwa Museveni several times from different places promoting tea growing; now he will find us at his farm fencing it with tea plants.”

“The tea we are promoting here (Lyantonde) is not for fun, it’s medicinal, drought resistant and can fence well your farms replacing (Oruyenje) and we have a ready market for green tea. In short, it’s rich and healthy. When you start harvesting this green gold you will not regret it.”

According to Atukunda, they have seedlings for planting and market for green tea, as the main ingredient for our products.

Tea being planted.

“We are on the value chain for tea. Our dream is, as usual; to change the mindset of our people, give employment opportunities, change people’s livelihoods and wealth creation.”

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