• Rwebitaba, Uganda, Fortpotal
  • +256-0483-427520
  • admin@rwebitabazardi.go.ug

TEA RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

Program/Program component: TEA

Introduction

Tea is the cheapest hot beverage in the world and three billion cups of tea are drunk daily worldwide. In Africa, Uganda is the third leading producer and exporter of tea (45,000MT) after Kenya (295,000MT) and Malawi (55,000MT). Tea is Uganda’s third most important export earner and oscillates between coffee and fish (Uganda earns 90 to 104 million USD from tea). The Tea industry employs 100,000 people, supporting more than 500,000 dependents in Uganda.

Rwebitaba Tea Research Centre, established in 1960 as branch of Tea Research Institute of East Africa (TRIEA). Rwebitaba station was the main tea breeding station for Tea Research Institute of East Africa...

Rwebitaba Tea Research Centre, established in 1960 as branch of Tea Research Institute of East Africa (TRIEA). Rwebitaba station was the main tea breeding station for Tea Research Institute of East Africa (TRIEA) before collapse of EAC in1977. TRIEA stopped in 1978 with unconcluded research leaving Rwebitaba in the hands of Uganda Government. Coffee Research Institute (CORI) started reviving tea research at Rwebitaba in 2003, then 2007 (NaCRRI). From July, 2011. NARO declared Rwebitaba a full Institute for the Western highland agro-ecological zone. The challenges facing the tea industry in Uganda include:

  • 1. Pests & Diseases
  • 2. Poor agronomic practices
  • 3. Age of tea bushes
  • 4. Low genetic potential
  • 5. Poor Seed System
  • 6. Climate change
  • 7. High production costs (labour)
  • 8. Poor tea quality
  • 9. Lack of a tea policy
  • 10. Lack of a statutory tea authority (Uganda Tea Development Authority)

Work being done

What are the targeted outcomes?

Who are the researchers?  

Source of Funding

Chracterising the two leading tea pathogens (Xylaria and Armillaria)  

To identify whether there are more than one strains of the pathogen and inform the designing of appropriate management strategies of the pathogens

Charles Mugisa

ATAAS and GOU

Identifying Tea clones tolerant to Xylaria   

To have these resistant clones multiplied and promoted in the country.

Generating Information on pests and diseases incidence, prevalence and severity in the country.

 

 

 

To have an information kit that will guide designing of appropriate intervention strategies to curb pests and diseases in the tea growing areas.   

Charles Mugisa

 

Tumwine Venansio

ATAAS and GOU

Doing soil mapping in tea growing districts of Uganda to establish the nutrient availability, organic matter content and PH

To generate a soil map to guide tea farmers in interventions in the areas where they grow tea.

Determining the Molecular (on-station and on-farm) levels and on-station morphological characterization of tea clones 

 

A reliable database of properly characterized tea clones in the country. Available for farmers and policy makers.

Rachael Nalugo

Jimmy Obala

ATAAS

Determining the Biochemical properties of tea clones in all the tea growing districts of Uganda

 

An information kit guiding quality controls in tea production

Rachael Nalugo

Jimmy Obala

ATAAS

Generating Information on two appropriate integrated pests, diseases, weeds and soil management practices 

 

An information kit on best management options for pests, diseases, weeds and soils

Tumwine Venansio

ATAAS

Optimizing productivity of ageing tea plantations in Uganda

Information on optimum productivity of ageing tea plantations in Uganda explored

Kawooya Ronald

ATAAS

Collecting baseline Information on nutrient uptake on the preferred 6 tea clones.

 

An information kit on nutrient uptake of old tea plantations.

Vivian Namutebi

ATAAS

Generating Information from on-farm trials on growth, pests and disease tolerance to tea clones in Uganda

 

An information kit on the best performing clones in different AE Zones of Uganda.

Kawooya Ronald

 

Turyahebwa Vereriano

ATAAS and GOU

Building a sustainable Tea Seed system in the country through establishing nurseries and mother gardens.

Quality planting materials (cuttings and plantlets) of priority clones availed to farmers.  

Kawooya Ronald

ATAAS and GOU 

Alongside these, the tea team has been able to innovate and come up with quality green tea and black tea for nutritional and health benefits.