Tanzanian Tea Sector

Triggering investment by demonstrating innovative models that boost profits for farmers and factories and see benefits shared more equitably.

Tanzanian Tea Sector
Tanzanian Tea Sector
Tanzanian Tea Sector
Tanzanian Tea Sector
Tanzanian Tea Sector
Tanzanian Tea Sector
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We have learnt about what it takes to have sustainable agriculture, produce quality crops and manage resources wisely.
Thiemo Msemwa, Farmer supported by the programme

The Opportunity

Many sectors offer real opportunities to build win-win relationships between processors and smallholder farmers. However, the level of risk at the start of potential relationships can be high, preventing them from ever forming.

Our joint programme in Tanzanian tea, implemented by The Wood Foundation Africa, is testing a model to overcome such challenges

The Vision

We have created a service company in Njombe to support farmers through loans and advice to plant and maintain quality tea.  This ensures the reliable supply needed to incentivise a multi-million dollar factory investment by the multinational company Unilever – without which the farmers would not invest in tea.

This is a major innovation in Tanzanian tea. Should it succeed, it could catalyse more investment, encourage existing tea firms to adopt similar models for farmer relationships, and even demonstrate such models for other agricultural sectors.

In Njombe there was a small group of farmers getting interested in tea. They didn’t have a reliable market; they didn’t have access to inputs; they didn’t have access to extension services; and they had very limited motivation to really invest in their crop and scale it up.
David Knopp, Director of Wood Foundation Africa


Successfully implementing the service company model in Njombe could see:

  • Supported farmers achieving nearly treble the yields of the baseline average
  • 4,000 farmers in Njombe directly benefiting from service company support and higher incomes from tea
  • The planting of 2,500 hectares of new smallholder tea


Click here to learn more about the programme, including the journey so far and highlights from 2020.


Click here to download a case study exploring the model, its impact to date, and what we've learned.