Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ndawara Tea Plantation

Tea as far as the eye can see!! The tea plantation was amazing. We took a bus tour to the different parts of the plantation. Once we climbed one mountain, we looked out and saw more mountains of tea. Currently, they pluck the tea and have the leaves shipped to the soutwest province, but, as you can see from the photo the owner is building a tea factory (the first in Cameroon) so that all of the tea is processed on site. Some of the tea leaves themselves came from Kenya and South Africa and are plucked by hand. They water the tea plants with the water from a nearby crater lake.


Blogger rotterdarned said...

Jennifer - This is great news to hear. I've been a tea trader for 35 years having lived in Kenya and shipped seed from our gardens to Cameroons many decades ago for planting out. The history of the Cameroons tea industry has so far been a bit of a rocky one, as is known to all of us in the trade. But the fact is Cameroons makes some great teas. I've copied a 2004 brief on the industry for you and others reading your blog which may help round out the picture. Cheers, JD.

The Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC, that employs some 13.000 persons over a land area of 10.000 hectares of agriculture land producing rubber, palm oil, banana and tea finally saw its tea estate privatised and handed over to its new owner; Bronbon Finex Limited of South Africa. The documents that were signed last Friday saw finance and budget minister Michel Meva'a M'Eboutou signing on behalf of Cameroon and Bronbon Finex Limited chairman, Derrick Garvie signing for his company. The Ministers of Agriculture, Employment, Labour and Social Insurance and Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Finance in charge of Budget were also present at the signing ceremony.

The tea estate comprises three industrialised plantations in Tole, Ndu and Djuttitsa. The tea produced in three plantations is transformed in three industries with an annual 4.000 tons of tea. By privatising the Tea Estate, the State hands over 65 % shares to Bronbon Finex Limited which in turn should sale 5 % shares to CDC personnel with the State conserving 35 % Bronbon Finex Limited has created its own company known as Cameroon Tea estate (CTE) with former Agriculture Minister John Niba Ngu as General Manager. As concerns capital shares, CTE owns 60 %, the state 10 % CDC workers 5 % and 25 % reserved for private shareholders.

As a condition, Bronbon Finex Limited has to increase production by acquiring 500 hectares of land around each of the three existing plantations in Tole, Ndu and Djuttitsa to increase its production surface area to 3.000 hectares in the next fifteen years. In addition, CTE owners have the obligation to carry out an investment programme estimated at 8 billions in the next 10 years. It will also reimburse the 1 billion 103 million FCFA debt owed by the Estate in conformity with the convention handing over the Estate to CTE. Also, no staff will be laid off and the health, education and accommodation facilities enjoyed by the personnel before now will not only be maintained but further made better. CTE will continue buying the produce from local farmers as far as 60 km around its plantations. In conformity with government privatisation policy of agro-industries, the land is excluded from the transaction. Thus, like the cases of HEVECAM, CAMSUCO and SOCAPALM hitherto privatised, the land remains Cameroonian's, thus CTE is simply leasing the land.

In all this, government will gain more Added Tax on the sale of tea will redistribute these funds for social improvement programmes aimed at bettering the state of the Cameroons tea industry.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow I had no idea Cameroon had such a Tea industry.

Do you know where the tea is shipped? I don't recall seeing many local tea sales.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HELLO , JENNIFER.its with great pleasure that i stumbled across your blog.thank you for exposing the BEAUTY,that is in cameroon.But its surprising to me that some people dont know that cameroon is one the 10 nations that export tea in the world .The Best Tea, like from Italy,or malasia. But i believe that there are lots of places in cameroon that you have not visited.i will give you just one word "cameroon is Africa in Miniature"

1:13 PM  
Blogger Roland said...

wow good news Jennifer are still in Cameroon?

3:08 PM  
Blogger Roland said...

Wow that's great Jennifer ..... are u still living in Cameroon if I may ask?.....

3:11 PM  

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