Agriterra’s collaboration with Tanzanian tea farmers yields notable success

In Tanzania’s Mufindi District, a transformative collaboration between Agriterra, an agricultural consultancy, and local tea farmers has led to substantial progress and development in the region’s tea industry. This partnership primarily focused on Mkonge Tea Block Farm Primary Cooperative, one of the 16 Primary Tea Cooperatives in the district, encompassing 652 members and producing approximately 2.3 million kilograms of green tea leaves annually.

Agriterra’s involvement began in 2020, with initiatives to fortify the cooperative’s operational capabilities. This included financial management and governance training, and the crafting of a strategic plan. A significant milestone in their collaboration was the development of a Strategic Business Plan over a three-year period, with a long-term goal of establishing an independent Tea Processing Plant.

The feasibility studies for the plant, conducted in collaboration with Kenyan tea experts and the Tanzanian Cooperative Advisor, revealed the necessity for Mufindi tea farmers to unite to ensure a consistent supply of green leaf. This led to the formation of Mutcoje Ltd. (Mufindi Tea Co-operative Joint Enterprise Ltd.) in February 2022, uniting 16 Tea Primary Co-operatives from the Mufindi District. Officially registered in September 2022, the enterprise focused on addressing common challenges such as access to agricultural inputs and markets.

Mutcoje’s formation has already shown remarkable results. In 2022, the enterprise secured a bank loan for purchasing fertilizers, leading to the distribution of 9188 bags of Yara Mila Java (NPK) to its members. This initiative not only marked the first increase in green tea leaf prices in over five years but also ensured timely payments to tea growers. The success continued into 2023, with Mutcoje applying for another bank loan for the purchase of additional fertilizer supplies.

This collaborative effort between Agriterra and the local tea farmers in Mufindi District exemplifies the power of strategic partnerships and effective resource management in elevating agricultural practices and enhancing economic stability in rural communities.

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