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Loans provided to Uganda tea growers.

KAMPALA -- Danish International Development Agency (Danida) will make an $8 million interest-free loan to smallholder tea growers in Uganda to purchase tea-processing machines. Smallholder farmers have recently scaled up harvest volumes, but most of this is going to waste due to limited processing capacity. The new machines are expected to boost the sector's processing capacity.

The surge in production is a result of an earlier government intervention to revamp the collapsed industry. It has trained farmers and supplied them with free high-yielding tea clones developed in Kericho, Kenya.

The government will provide $1.5 million to build a two-line processing plant and finance constructing a third line at Igara Tea Growers in Bushenyi District, to increase capacity from 55,000 kg of green leaf a day to 75,000 kg.

The smallholder tea sector in Uganda produces about eight million kilos of tea representing about 20% of the country's total tea production. Overall, 24,000 hectares of land is under tea in Uganda.
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Title Annotation:World News: Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Line
Comment:Loans provided to Uganda tea growers.(World News: Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Line)
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Feb 1, 2009
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