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Turmoil in Kenya Creates Tea Industry Disruption in Uganda

By Bob Ewing     Jan 7, 2008 in World
The violence in Kenya is having an economic impact on families working in the tea industry in Uganda. A major Kenyan tea broker has cancelled the region's largest tea auction due to the turmoil.
An AllAfrica report says that the violence in Kenya has created economic problems that spread beyond the country’s borders. In Uganda, for instance, over 450,000 families who are employed in the tea industry are facing financial hardship due to the cancellation of the Mombasa tea auction.
The Africa Tea Brokers Ltd operate the region’s biggest tea auction in Mombasa Kenya and the company has suspended trading activities due to the violence that has swept through Kenya. Tea is one of Uganda’s top exports.
"The situation in Kenya is affecting us greatly. We are running out of cash flow, the bush is growing in the tea fields because people are not working, the tea stocks are piling up because we cannot ship to Mombasa," Executive Secretary Uganda Tea Association Isaac Munabi.
In addition to the tea crisis, a fuel shortage is adding to Ugandans' woes. It has become too expensive to operate in a region where sales have been halted.
“We were operating on generators because of the power outages then we resorted to fuel to run. Now fuel prices have almost quadruped and we cannot even access it that easily. There is no way we can run the factories but instead close business," Mr. Shailendra Kaushik the General Manager Rwenzori Commodities Limited one of the biggest players in Uganda, said.
More about Uganda, Kenya, Tea industry