Tanzania on November 13 held its first ever tea auction in Dar es Salaam, in an event that was aimed at transforming the tea industry in the country.
As a result, Tanzania has revealed plans to stop exporting its tea through the port of Mombasa in Kenya.
The auction is expected to open markets for over 65 tonnes of tea at the ports of Dar es Salaam and Tanga in Tanzania.
According to the Tea Board of Tanzania (TBT) director general Mary Kipeja, the auction will make Tanzania a regional hub for competition with other tea protruding countries in the region.
“Apart from minimizing market costs, the auction will empower Tanzanians economically,” said Kipeja.
“Players in the value chain including tea buyers, brokers, warehouse operators and transporters will benefit directly from the auction,” she added.
Additionally, the TBT director general noted that the government was committed to ensuring that farmers are enticed with incentives in order to increase production.
Kipeja also explained that initially, Tanzania farmers were incurring higher transportation costs in selling their product through the port of Mombasa in Kenya.
“We thank President Samia Suluhu Hassan who has been behind this initiative and behind the general transformation of the agriculture sector,” said Kipeja.
“The costs incurred in transporting tea to Mombasa port in Kenya will be directed towards improving productivity,” she added.
At the same time, Agriculture Ministry permanent secretary Gerald Mweli who graced the tea auction event, noted that Tanzania will benefit from revenue generated from exporting tea through Tanga and Dar es Salaam.
The Agriculture PS added that the tea auction would lead to jobs creation for Tanzanians, as well as promoting fairness in negotiating for better tea prices for the benefit of farmers.
Mweli also disclosed that already 9 buyers from the international markets have expressed interest in participating in the Dar es Salaam tea auction.