Bloomberg News

Tanzania Expects Tea Production to Climb 9.4% on Better Weather

November 29, 2011

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Tanzania, Africa’s fourth-largest tea producer, may boost output of the crop 9.4 percent in the current season because of increased rainfall, the Tea Board of Tanzania said.

Output in the 12 months through June may climb to 35,000 metric tons from 32,000 tons a year earlier, Director-General Mathias Assenga said in a phone interview today from Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital.

“There are some good rains and we hope the crop will recover from last season’s drought,” he said. Production last season fell short of an initial target of 35,000 tons because of a lack of rains, Assenga said.

Tanzania’s tea output ranks behind Kenya, Malawi and Uganda on the continent, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization. Four-fifths of the leaves are sold to buyers from the U.K., Germany, India and the United Arab Emirates. About half of Tanzania’s tea exports are channeled through the world’s biggest tea auction in the port city of Mombasa in neighboring Kenya.

Agriculture generates more than 40 percent of Tanzania’s gross domestic product, according to the CIA World Factbook. The tea board is trying to encourage farmers to introduce the crop to areas bordering Kenya and to use more fertilizers to boost output, according to the board. Kenya is the world’s largest exporter of black tea.

This season’s forecast is 3 percent lower than a March 11 estimate of 36,000 tons because of crop damage caused by adverse weather, Assenga said.

--Editors: Paul Richardson, Dulue Mbachu.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala at fojambo@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.


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