Stakeholders in the tea industry in Kigezi and Ankole sub-regions are demanding to seek audience with President Yoweri Museveni to share their concerns and challenges in the industry including government’s failure to pay for tea seedlings supplied.
This was revealed yesterday in the meeting they held with the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde and the Minister of State for Economic Monitoring, Dr. Kasirivu Baltazar Atwooki at Kigezi Highland Tea Company Limited in Kitumba Sub County in Kabale district.
Led by the Chairperson for the South Western Regional, Tea Nursery Bed Operators and growers, Frank Byaruhanga, they want to meet president Museveni to know the reason why government has not honored its commitment of paying them.
He says that they have for the last three years, he has been trying to meet president Museveni, but in the course, a group of political leaders interrupt the meetings.
The Kabale district Chairperson Patrick Besigye Keihwa says that if the tea project is not handled properly it will affect district leaders and the country negatively.
Keihwa says that if the government continues to frustrate tea farmers, tea factories will collapse like the pyrethrum and antinesia factories in Kabale district which collapsed after the government failed to support farmers.
The Director for Kigezi Highland Tea Company Limited James Musinguzi Garuga, says that all mess in the tea industry is caused by political leaders.
In response, Kyambadde said that she will compile a report on what she found on the group and report it to the president.