ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe has welcomed a new herbal tea processing factory constructed by agriculture concern, Organic Africa.
The multi-million-dollar facility is aimed to promote value addition which will in turn ensure the players along the value chain get the best returns from the produce.
Termed as one of the largest herbal tea factories in Southern Africa by The Herald, the facilities will enable Organic Africa to get a share of the lucrative market segment.
The herbal tea market was valued at US$ 3.289 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US$ 4.877 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 4.89% from 2021 to 2028, according to a report by Verified Market Research.
The market has gained momentum in recent times because of the increase in awareness of nutritional food consumption and healthcare such as reduction in caffeine intake.
Rising trend of consumption of ready-to-drink tea is also increasing the growth of the Herbal Tea Market.
Opening the factory, Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Douglas Karoro, said the commissioning was a sign that the private sector was now focusing on producing products that are informed by grounded research.
“Production of organic herbal tea offers a unique opportunity for the local farming sector to achieve the envisaged US$8.2 billion agriculture economy by 2025.
“It is through these efforts that the agriculture sector meaningfully contributes to the Economic Stability and Growth cluster of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).”
He further highlighted that, market development needs to be focused on smallholder farmers if the country was to achieve the objectives of improved income and empowering the society, since 70 percent of the farmers are based in rural areas.
In line with that, Organic Africa has a number of activities which it is working with the communities and small-scale farmers in enhancing inclusive value chain development and building community resilience.
These include 5 000 small-scale farmer families as out-growers in the production of rosella in Mbire and Binga and 3 000 wild collector families that collect baobab fruits in Manicaland, Mashonaland East (Mudzi and Mutoko), Mashonaland Central (Rushinga), Masvingo (marula and ximnia (tsvanzva).
The rosella that is produced by the out-growers is extremely drought resistant and gives income to the 5 000 out-growers even in years of drought.
In Mbire, Organic Africa has a partnership with ARDA Mushumbi Pools where it has also invested considerably into the local communities in the production of herbal teas.
The company also drilled 10 boreholes for safe drinking water for the participating families.
Further to that, Organic Africa has a partnership with ARDA in cooperation with a local company on the parastatal’s estate in Mushumbi where high value crops are produced in one of the most marginalised areas of the country.
Currently, 140 hectares have been developed on the estate producing 200 metric tonnes of crops for export. An additional 300ha will be developed.