Where We Came From
Tea cultivation in Tanzania started in the early 1900 in the system of settler economy in which indigenous Tanzanians were barred from growing the crop. After independence in 1961, the Government allowed and facilitated the participation of smallholders in tea cultivation by establishing the Tanzania Tea Authority (TTA) in 1969. TTA was given both the regulatory and crop development mandates in the areas of production, processing and marketing of made tea. On crop development side, TTA formulated and coordinated various programmes that increased smallholder tea planting from 2,665 ha in 1969/70 to 9,289 ha in 1980/81. Over the same period, the annual made tea production by smallholders increased from 725 tons to over 5,000 tons. However, due to various reasons including liquidity problems facing many parastatal organizations, TTA could not sustain achievements that had been recorded by early 1990s.
Following the mid 1980s macro-economic reforms that led to the withdrawal of the Government and its institutions from production and commercial oriented businesses, the entire production infrastructure under the TTA was privatized and the Authority dissolved. The enactment by Parliament of the Tea Industry Act No. 3 of 1997 paved the way for the establishment of Tanzania Smallholder Tea Development Agency to oversee crop development activities through smallholders; and the Tea Board of Tanzania to regulate the tea industry operations. Therefore as for now, the tea cultivation promotion functions that prior to 2000 were being undertaken by the Government through TTA; are being coordinated by TSHTDA.
CORE FUNCTIONS OF TSHTDA
TSHTDA was established under Tea Industry Act No. 3 of 1997 with the following mandates:
• Promotion and development of tea industry;
• Advise and make recommendations to the Minister as it may think fit regarding the development of tea industry in Tanzania;
• In collaboration with the Ministry or on its own behalf to conduct and provide finance for tea research and extension services directly or through agents.
In realization of the role played by the TSHTDA the original mandate was broadened to embrace the following functions as per Crops Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, 2009:
• Enhance capacity building for smallholder tea growers;
• Facilitate tea extension services to smallholder tea growers;
• Strengthen the existing ground level tea grower groups;
• Facilitate development of tea cultivation in new areas; and
• Mobilize smallholder growers in the construction of green leaf processing facilities.