Breaking

Hundreds of Farmers Stop Supplying Green Tea Leaf to Igara Factory Citing Poor Relationship With Management

Daniel Kakwaya, a leading tea producer from Butaare in Bushenyi district says their decision to suspend the supply of green tea leaf to the factory will suffocate the current board and compel them to surrender it.

Audio 4

 Hundreds of farmers have stopped supplying green tea leaf to Igara Tea Factory in Bushenyi citing the poor relationship with management. The Tea farmers been up in arms against the Arthur Babu Mugizi led board of the directors since 2013 for alleged financial impropriety, mismanagement of tea estates and property.

In 2014, the Tea farmers commissioned an independent Audit led by Ernest and Young, that an earthed a financial loss of UGX 26billion and an accumulated debt of over UGX 10 Billion in different banks. This prompted the farmers to elect a parallel board led by Eliab Muhoozi. They called for the disbandment of the old board to pave way for investigation into the financial impropriety.

However, Mugizi and his team refused to step down. Officially the term of office for the current board ends July 2015. Now, close to 8000 farmers from Bushenyi, Mitooma, Buhweju and Rubirizi districts have decided to stop supplying green tea leaf to the factory.

Daniel Kakwaya, a leading tea producer from Butaare in Bushenyi district says their decision to suspend the supply of green tea leaf to the factory will suffocate the current board and compel them to surrender it.

Runyankore voice;

//Cue in: “abahinji bakemera…….

Cue out:…..bakalema kuzishashura.”//

English

//Cue in: “farmers agreed to…..

Cue out:…..to clear it.”//

According to Kakwaya, most of the farmers are now selling their green tea leaf at Shillings 300 per kilo to Kyamuhunga and Ankole Tea Company Mashonga, all situated in Bushenyi district. Mzee Serapio Bahabuka, a found member of Igara Tea factory says they started the plant to help farmer to get in puts like fertilizers and jackets to boost their production, which he says have since stopped.

Bahabuka says the factory was supposed to provide farmers with ready market for their produce but to his surprise, all those who supplied green tea leaf from December 2014 to date haven\'t been paid. He says the factory owes farmers Shillings 8 billion for the tea leaf supplied. Sources close to the factory show that production has dropped from 25,000 to 10.000 tones.

Robert Ejuku, the Manager Igara Tea Factory told URN they are trying to address the financial impropriety. He blasted farmers for playing cheap politics that has paralyzed the smooth running of the factory.

Keywords