In 2004, a tea producer in rural Uganda approached the East African Development Bank (EADB) for a loan so it could increase production.
The bank agreed to lend USD 700,000 to the Kayonza Tea Factory, located about 400 kilometres south west of the capital, Kampala, and lent a further USD 335,588 so the producer could buy more land.
Ten years later, the £1 million investment has borne fruit in terms of work, jobs and more tea for export. The factory, which is managed by the Uganda Tea Development Agency, now has 5,000 farmers and 600 employees.
Kayonza’s tea is regarded as top quality, is compared favourably with tea from Kenya, and fetches consistently good prices at auction.
The EADB has also financially supported the Igara Growers Tea Factory in western Uganda.
Uganda is the second largest producer of tea in East Africa after Kenya. The value of Uganda’s tea exports grew by almost 16% in 2013 to USD 85.5 million from USD 73.9 million in 2012, according to the Uganda Export Promotion Board.