Zambia’s Kawambwa Tea Industries Limited is evolving as Zambia’s crucial saleable Tea Producer and the Memoir is unhurriedly Remaking for the Fairer
By Abdul Rahman Bangura-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone- The Administration of Zambia stabilized the tea firm in a bid to stimulate self-reliance through import swap, strengthened security, creating employment alternatives for the surrounding communities, supporting poverty reduction initiatives, and expediting social infrastructure development.
The corporation which was formally dubbed Kawambwa Tea Company since its beginning endorsed through diverse possession.
More than fifty years ago, the corporation has been in the hands of several holders governing to its whole fall until 2016.
The company started as a government tea-growing get in 1969 in Kawambwa District, Luanpula Province and was later commercialized as a state company in 1975 while the tea processing factory was delegated in 1976.
The firm was later privatized and peddled to a Zimbabwean firm Khumul Holdings which took over until privatized the government validated a accession order to recoup it.
The collapse of the sole tea producer in the country led the country to start importing all its tea and related requirements.
Following the acquisition of the company, the government handed over the management of the plantation to the Zambia Forest and Forestry Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) and the recapitalization of the company to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
In 2019, a team of government officials and ZAFFICO staff were sent to Kenya to learn the value chain and out-grower model best practices from Africa’s biggest tea producer.
According to some research, the tea industry in Kenya accounts for four per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), creating more than 10 million jobs with tea fields sitting on more than 220,000 hectares of land.
There are more than 700,000 out-grower farmers who own tea farms ranging from one to more than 50 hectares in 21 counties of Kenya.
Following the visit to that country, ZAFFICO imported 300,000 tea cuttings from there which are now nurturing the mother bushes for the Kawambwa Tea project.
The tea cuttings consisted of 10 species procured from the Tea Research Institute of Kenya with a variety of green, yell, ow, and purple tea among others.
The tea cuttings necessary to categorize 1,000 hectares of trees were planted on 20 hectares of land.
The IDC has recapitalized the tea company and has managed to move it to a profitmaking position by investing in plantation expansion, a robust irrigation system.
The Kawambwa tea plantation now has 1,500 hectares of tea estate encompassing 423 hectares of five tea varieties. It now distills 3 tonnes of tea per day and has utilized more than 650 permanent seasonal staff.
The firm passed through a lot of transformation and today, it provides for the financial advancement and job creation of Zambia. Observing this modification, the local brand is back on the demand and the corporation has placed itself to fulfill the need of both the local and multinational need.
According to IDC, the local brand has blow the local retail market and is accessible in most of the chain store stores encompassing Shoprite outlets across the nation of Zambia. The corporation is now generating a collection of tea variations such as ginger tea, lemon tea, eucalyptus tea, and cinnamon tea.
IDC acting Chief Portfolio Officer – Chimuka Nketani asserts Kawambwa Tea Industries has renovated and modified to refining a variety of tea unlike the bulk tea it was exclusively refining recently.
Nketani announces the Kawambwa “Kawambwa tea is back on the market, it is back on the stage. It is a brand which every Zambian needs to have in the house and it is a brand which we need to promote and take pride in because it is our local brand,” Nketani asserted.
He says the IDC has transformed Kawambwa tea from its loss-making era to profitmaking and the IDC had subsidized a contemporary irrigation system that had facilitated the firm to saturate its tea plantation throughout the year.
On top of that, the company has introduced envelope tea bags to cater to the hospitality industry.
Nketani stated the envelope tea bags have since received a good reviewer from the local hospitality industry.
Company General Manager – Moses Silanda announces due to the overwhelming reviews the envelope tea bags was receiving from hotels, the company has set itself to join the market and supply.
“We have these envelope tea bags we have introduced and supplied to hotels. All the reviews we have received are good and hotels are recommending our products. We are doing everything possible to cater to the demand and needs for this industry,” he said.
He says apart from the envelope tea, the company has introduced different flavored tea varieties to respond to the needs of consumers.
Silanda mumbles, the company has introduced cinnamon tea, ginger tea, lemon tea, and garlic tea.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent