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Zombo leaders give 10 acres of land for constructing a tea factory

Minister Kwiyocwiny speaks to leaders during a meeting on Friday, September 9, 2022. (Photo: TND News)
The Northern Daily News (Uganda) | 16 September 2022

Zombo leaders give 10 acres of land for constructing a tea factory

According to some of the Alur Kingdom cultural leaders, their King is passionate about tea [revival] and had initially offered a part of the Kingdom’s land for a tea factory.

“The leaders of Alur Kingdom are passionate about tea, and setting up a factory will add value to the tea sub-sector.”

Zombo – September 16, 2022: Leaders of Zombo district have agreed to give 10 acres of land for the construction of a tea factory. The leaders, in a meeting held on September 9, 2022, responded positively to a directive by President Museveni.

The President, as revealed by the State Minister for Northern Uganda Rehabilitation Grace Freedom Kwiyocwiny had directed that 10 acres of land be allocated for a tea factory.

“I have been directed by H.E the President to urgently ensure that Zombo District offers 10 acres of land for a tea factory. You will recall that the Elite Group of Investors from United Arab Emirates visited Zombo Tea growing area among six other districts in Uganda. The investors are now back in the country and would like to start construction of the factories in six districts,” Kwiyocwiny’s letter dated September 6, 2022, to Zombo leaders and stakeholders read in part.

While only 10 acres could be needed, Edwin Atukunda Beekunda, the Director of EFOTI who has been in Zombo for at least three years, reviving tea, says: “Investors needed ten but in case of need for more land, the district is ready to add more in order to support the development in the region.”

TND News understands that Elite Agro, a company based in the UAE will construct factories in Zombo and five other districts across the country.

Tea growing was revived in Zombo almost three years ago after it was abandoned by farmers due to different reasons, among them the failure of the government to support farmers and set up a factory.

As revealed by Atukunda, according to some of the Alur Kingdom cultural leaders, their King is passionate about tea [revival] and had initially offered a part of the Kingdom’s land for a tea factory.

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TND News | 8 September 2022

Museveni directs Zombo to offer 10 acres of land for a tea factory 

The minister added that "the purpose of this letter is to invite you to an urgent meeting on Friday 9th September 2022 starting at 9:00 am at Zombo District Headquarters to identify the land".

Our Reporter

Zombo – September 8, 2022: Tea farming in Zombo district in the West Nile sub-region has been strengthened years after it was abandoned by the farmers due to several factors.

 Zombo is one of the strategically located districts of Uganda, boarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC] to the South and West.

By bordering the DRC, it means any valuable produce it [Zombo] makes can be exported to the new East African nation and beyond.

One of the highly consumed products from Zombo district in the nearest future will be tea. To date, there are over 1,000 acres of well-managed tea plantations in Zombo, according to the EFOTI Director, Edwin Atukunda Beekunda.

The acreage could increase by the end of the year if farmers are convinced their sweats will not be for nothing by establishing a factory.

TND News understands that even with some uncertainties, tea farmers are now more united, their moods enhanced after the Edwin Foundation Tea Initiatives [EFOTI] and Zombo Tea Growers Cooperative Society Limited agreed to work together. 

The two entities have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue with the previous interventions in the tea subsector, with a specific focus on value addition, and capacity building.

It is also worth noting that the government, through the Office of the State Minister for Northern Uganda Rehabilitation, Grace Freedom Kwiyocwiny has been looking for available options to see that Zombo gets a modern tea factory.

A demand for a tea factory has been made by farmers and the leadership of the Alur Kingdom, and other stakeholders due to the availability of enough green leaves to supply the factory.

Now, in a letter to the Zombo district LC5 chairman and His Royal Highness Philips Olarker Rauni III dated September 6, 2022, and copied to nine other high-profile persons in the district, Kwiyocwiny communicated President Museveni’s directive.

The letter reads: “I have been directed by H.E the President to urgently ensure that Zombo District offers 10 acres of land for a tea factory. You will recall that the Elite Group of Investors from United Arab Emirates visited Zombo Tea growing area among six other districts in Uganda. The investors are now back in the country and would like to start construction of the factories in six districts.”

The minister added that “the purpose of this letter is to invite you to an urgent meeting on Friday 9th September 2022 starting at 9:00 am at Zombo District Headquarters to identify the land”.

Those she has invited to attend the meeting are 100, among them religious leaders [4], elders [10], business community [5], and Alur Kingdom [20], among others.

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