The Agricon Boresha Chai programme fosters sustainable livelihoods, nutrition, and gender equality among tea farming families in Southern Tanzania. Funded by the European Union, the programme promotes the inclusiveness, productivity, competitiveness, and resilience of smallholder tea farming.

The Agricon Boresha Chai programme will focus on the following activities:

  • Strengthening tea farmer cooperatives

    Provide training to tea farmer cooperatives; Stimulate female leadership and youth participation in tea cooperatives; Grant financial support to cooperatives to improve service delivery to their members

  • Sustainable service delivery, training and quality-based payment for tea smallholders

    Introduce sustainable Service Delivery Models (SDMs) for tea cooperatives and farmers; Build capacity of tea smallholders through Farmer Field Schools; Implement a bonus system to promote and reward higher green leaf quality

  • Sustainable innovations

    Demonstrate and promote optimised nutrient application in smallholder tea farms; Demonstrate and promote mechanised tea harvesting services; Demonstrate and promote irrigation of smallholder tea plantations; Establish improved clone nurseries for increased climate resilience and productivity; Promote digital financial and information services for smallholder tea farmers

  • Income diversification

    Convenes partners for secondary value chain services and offtake; Implement SDM for secondary value chain and establish market linkage

  • Nutrition and household decision-making

    Promote good household nutrition through sensitisation, training and demonstrations; Build financial literacy and promote balanced decision-making in tea farming households

Background

Tea is a high impact sector in Tanzania. Around 31,000 smallholder farmers collectively produce a third of the country’s output. The tea crop is generally harvested all year round and provides a regular and dependable source of income for growers.

However, the tea sector faces significant challenges:

  • Tea smallholder farmers in Tanzania achieve low yields.
  • Factories are not getting sufficiently consistent supplies of green leaf volume and quality throughout the year to operate efficiently and keep variable factory costs low. Consequently, they are only able to offer low prices to farmers.

Due to these and other factors including lack of or limited shareholding in processing plants, tea growers in Tanzania receive a much lower share of the Mombasa auction price. As a result, there is a clear downward cycle within smallholder tea production, leaving Tanzanian farmers among the lowest paid in the East African region.

Expected Results

The Agricon Boresha Chai programme aims to reach 22,000 smallholder tea farmers – covering more than 70% of all Tanzania’s tea smallholders. This are approximately 103,000 members of tea farming households.

  • 560 Farmer Field Schools established
  • Increased household income

    as a result of higher green leaf yields and higher price based on quality

  • Diversified income

    for 4 non-tea value chains strengthened and 50% smallholder tea farming families

  • Improved nutrition practices leading to reduced stunting
  • Increased gender equality in households, farms and cooperatives

    (increase in economic activities and decision making)

  • Reduced climate vulnerability

    as a result of planting drought-resistant tea varieties, implementing good agricultural practices, installing irrigation, income diversification

  • Improved organisational capacity and performance of 34 farmer cooperatives
  • New and improved service delivery to members of at least 10 cooperatives
  • Increased committee membership, especially of women and youth
  • Increased green leaf quality and volume

    as a result of tea nurseries, improved irrigation practices and better service delivery

Partners

The European Union and the Government of United Republic of Tanzania have signed a financing Agreement called Agri-Connect: Supporting value chains for shared prosperity. The Agricon Boresha Chai program is part of Agri-Connect and co-financed by the European Union. The Agricon Boresha Chai program is implemented by a consortium consisting of:

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