Africa’s tea factories urged to switch to renewable energy sources

Conserving the environment through the use of renewable energy has become a major priority for tea factories in African countries as they face climate change.

by Vincent Godstime

Man harvesting tea from farm

Arthur Sewe, chairman of the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA), said climate change is a big threat to the tea sub-sector, which is why he called for greater use of small hydroelectric plants, wind and solar power sources.

“There is an urgent need to embrace small hydropower stations, wind and solar energy to bring down energy costs,” he told journalists in Nairobi the capital city of kenya.

Sewe noted that climate change is affecting the tea industry in several ways. He explained that decreased yield per fixed acreage is due to poor precipitation and erratic distribution of rain, which makes reforestation important for providing a source of wood fuel that is an important ingredient in tea processing but also contributes to resilience in combating the effects of environmental degradation.

Sewe observed that the tea industry has a notable impact on the growing economies of countries in east and southern Africa.

Bethule Nyamambi, Programs Director for Reclaim Sustainability on Tea at Trust Africa, urged policymakers to ensure that forces that disrupt tea production in Africa such as climate change and trade restrictions are dealt with to enable farmers to reap maximum benefit from the cash crop.

Nyamambi advised policymakers to address forces that disrupt tea production in the continent, including climate change and trade restrictions, so farmers can reap maximum benefit from their cash crop.

Humphrey Nxumalo, Head of Programs at Solidaridad southern Africa region, called for increased trade and collaboration throughout the continent through regional blocs. He urged stakeholders to develop new products such as specialty tea and harmonize programs on sustainability standards to ease implementation in the tea subsector.

Officials called for a comprehensive policy framework that would delineate the role of government and that of the private sector, in order to help streamline the tea sub-sector.

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