Tea farmers in greater Bushenyi petition President, parliament

Tea farmers in greater Bushenyi petition President, parliament
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Tea farmers in Greater Bushenyi have voiced their frustration and suspicions as they petition the president and parliament, seeking explanations for the government's prolonged delay in implementing a crucial tea policy.

Despite receiving free tea seedlings, farmers are witnessing a lack of regulatory measures, prompting concerns of potential interference by undisclosed entities within the government.

Jaffari Basajjabalaba, the LCV chairman of Bushenyi, expressed the growing impatience among tea farmers, stating,

"Tea farmers will have to wait a little longer to start fetching big from their tea investments. There's a pressing need for the government to regulate the sector and address the concerns of our farmers."

Katusiime Annette Mugisha, WMP Bushenyi, highlighted the unique situation facing the tea industry, remarking,

"Unlike other crops, tea remains the only industry that is yet to be regulated despite earning the government tangible export revenues. Some think there could be invisible hands frustrating the tea industry."

Tea farmers have taken their concerns directly to the office of the NRM national chairman, Hajjati Hadijah Namyaalo.

Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Hajjati Namyaalo emphasized the urgency of seeking answers from the president regarding the absence of a clear tea policy in the country.

Meanwhile, the economic impact on tea farmers is evident, with the current price of a kilo of green leaf costing less than Ush 200 (less than a dollar) in the auction market.

Leaders, including Hon Derick Kabuura (MP Bushenyi-Ishaka municipality) and Hon Katusiime Annette Mugisha (WMP Bushenyi), have appealed to the president for additional support, including an incubator for hatching chickens and a skilling hub.

They are also urging swift action to rehabilitate the Mbarara-Bushenyi road.

As the tea farmers await responses from the government, the uncertainty surrounding the tea industry's future raises questions about potential obstacles and the need for a comprehensive policy to guide this vital sector.

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