Tea is Uganda’s fourth largest agricultural export commodity after coffee, fish, and Maize, earning over $85 million in 2022. Tea’s contribution to export earnings during the National Development Plan (NDP) III through the agro-industrialisation efforts is expected to increase further as Uganda exploits new markets such as South Sudan.

Yet, Uganda’s tea productivity has stagnated at about 1,600Kg per Hectare, compared to the potential 4,000Kg per Hectare. This could partly explain the observed Uganda’s export volumes of less than 70 million Kgs since 2020. “Uganda’s tea productivity gaps are partly explained by limited use of productivity enhancing inputs like fertilizers even when the cash crop is a nutrient-depleting.”

One of the most cited reasons for not using fertilizers among farmers is that they are expensive. Farmers have limited financial resources and cannot invest in fertilizers, especially before they harvest some tea for sale. This has been worsened by global shocks like the Russia-Ukraine war that led to an increase in the price of a 50-Kg bag of fertilizers from UGX 120,000 to over UGX 200,000.

• Uganda's Tea market generated a revenue of US$130.7m in 2023.
• It is projected to experience an annual growth rate of 10.54% (CAGR 2023-2028).
• Looking ahead, the volume in the Tea market is expected to reach 14.7m kg by 2028.
• Additionally, there is an anticipated volume growth of 6.2% in 2024.
• Uganda's tea market is flourishing due to its favorable climate, resulting in high-quality tea production and increasing demand.