The Tea Research Institute of Tanzania (TRIT) was established in 1996 as an autonomous organisation representing the Government of Tanzania and the tea industry. TRIT aims to support the development of both small and large-scale tea producers through appropriate, cost-effective, high quality research and technology transfer, to ensure the sustainability of the Tanzanian tea industry.

Within this overall aim the objectives of TRIT are to:

  • provide answers to practical problems of immediate concern to the industry;
  • identify the financial benefits of research recommendations;
  • communicate the results of this work to the industry in appropriate, unambiguous ways;
  • explain, where possible, the mechanisms responsible for the observed responses, in order for the results to be applied with confidence to other locations; and
  • subject this work to peer group review through scientific publications when justified.

TRIT publishes an Annual Report and a Newsletter describing these activities. It also organises an annual conference and open day, and regional workshops.

The Institute operates in partnership with producers in all the major tea-growing areas, and manages two research stations, Ngwazi and Marikitanda, representing the two major agro-climatic zones where tea is produced. 

The TTP, responsible for farming systems research and extension throughout the country, particularly for smallholders, operates from both sites. The UK Department for International Cooperation (DFID) supported the activities of TTP during the initial five years up to March 2004.  The first phase of the European Union contribution through Stabex funds became effective from July 2001 to June 2004.  The EU has provided further support to TRIT for another three years effective July 2004 following a very positive evaluation of the initial support. TRIT thanks the EU for its continued support.

The EU has also supported the construction of offices, houses, services and ICT equipment.

A major milestone is the completion of the construction and equipping of a Plant and Soils analysis Laboratory at Ngwazi. Since its inauguration by the Prime Minister, Hon Mizengo Pinda on 29th March 2009 the Laboratory has been providing valuable analytical work for various stakeholders within and outside the tea industry.

In addition to research and technology transfer TRIT is also involved in delivering high quality extension services to smallholders in order to improve and sustain their green leaf yields and income. This is a unique arrangement whereby a private commercial company has engaged the services of a research institution (TRIT) ensuring that the results of research reach the target farmers and TRIT receives the necessary feedback from the stakeholders without an involvement of an intermediary. This party addresses the commonly expressed concerns on the lack or weak linkages between research and extension. TRIT has also established a very close working relationship with the tea processing factories, where production, transportation, processing and marketing are linked.

Staff training, both formal and informal, is priority and international exchanges are encouraged.

TRIT evaluates clonal materials from Tea Research Foundation of Central Africa (TRFCA) as a result of the MoU between the two. TRFK and TRFCA continued to be represented in the TRIT Advisory Panel (TAP). Their contributions to TRIT are well appreciated. We value the cooperation and support of TRFCA and TRFK.

In March 2006 we were advised that crop cess, the major contributor to our financial resources, was abolished by the Government of Tanzania, effective from June 2006 and that TRIT activities funded by cess had been undertaken by the Government. The transition was challenging and TRIT is still adapting to the mode of financing with voluntary contributions from our esteemed stakeholders.

We thank all who have supported TRIT at various levels, the Government, The Board, TRIT Advisory Panel, farmers, and the neighbouring institutions (TRFK and TRFCA). TRIT staffs are committed to serve the industry and I thank them all.

Dr Emmanuel F. Simbua

Executive Director – TRIT