TRFCA Recommends Newly Released Tea Cultivars
Tea Research Foundation for Central Africa (TRFCA) says the newly released tea cultivars have proved to be of good quality, high yield and drought tolerant.
Chief Research Scientist at TRFCA Dr. Nicholas Mphangwe says use of these cultivars which are PC 401, 402, 403 and 404 will help tea growers to cope up with the prevailing harsh weather conditions and adapt to consumer preferences.
Dr. Mphangwe spoke on Tuesday at TRFCA headquarters at Mimosa in Mulanje during the 2022 Tea Field Day.
“We are encouraging both tea growing companies and smallholder tea growers to try these cultivars and they will not regret but we know they will help them to cope up with the current harsh weather conditions and satisfy their consumers,” said Dr. Mphangwe.
General Manager of Sukambizi Association Trust, a grouping of small holder tea growers in Mulanje Austin Changazi said previously smallholder tea farmers were contributing only 3% of tea yields in Malawi but after adopting the new cultivars their contribution now is about 10%.
“Our participation to these field days have been helpful to us, smallholder growers as evidenced by increased volumes of tea we have been producing in recent years,” said Changazi.
The harsh weather with 14.6 degrees Celsius according readings at Mimosa weather station forced the event’s organizers to cancel actual tea field visits and the event was held right within the TRFCA premises.
The tea field day which was attended by tea growing companies and smallholder tea growers from Mulanje and Thyolo districts was held under the theme “Technologies for Sustainable Tea Production.