Alur Kingdom Revives Tea Growing to Fight Poverty

2816 Views Nebbi, Uganda

In short
The tea estate was abandoned soon after it was started and now the Alur Kingdom wants it revived.

The Alur Kingdom in the West Nile is reviving the growing of tea to boost incomes and create employment for its people.

It has mobilized 10,000 out growers rebuild Abanga Te Eastate located in Zeu sub-county, Zombo District.

Abanga Tea Estate was set up under President Milton Obote's first government in the early 1960s. However it didn't thrive like other tea estates in western and central Uganda and was abandoned after about a decade.

The estate was built to have a farm, a factory, stores, transport facilities and offices. It was intended that both skilled and unskilled workers would find employment there.

After Abanga Tea Estate was abandoned, the Uganda Development Corporation took it over. Unfortunately it utilized the property and the sprawling land was invaded by encroachers.

In 1994 the European Union under the Small Tea Estates Development Project gave a grant of 75 million dollars for the development of the tea estates. Once again Abanga missed out on this trend.

Now the Alur Kingdom wants the tea estate up and running this year.  

Odongo Japamora, the kingdom’s Deputy Prime Minister, says they have written to the Ministry of Agriculture for funds to revive the tea estate. He says the kingdom wants government to tea factory, supply the tea seedlings and improve the road infrastructure.

Japamora says 10,000 outgrowers are already registered with the estate and have been given two hectares each for tea cultivation.

The plan is to have at least 1,500 hectares of tea by the end of the year.

 The initiative targets 11 sub-counties in the districts of Nebbi and Zombo.

Japamora predicts that the local tea industry has the potential of improving the people’s income and creating 4,700 new jobs. He is optimistic that Abanga Tea Estate, trading now as Zeu Tea Company Limited, can become the largest tea farm in East Africa.

The Alur Kingdom is an ancient kingdom that has nearly a million people living in Uganda and over four million subjects in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Despite being perhaps the oldest kingdoms with a rich past and long lineage of 33 kings, it remains one of the poorest and least developed kingdoms in the country.



About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.

In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."