The main objective of TTP is to develop and promote technologies that lead to increases in the productivity and profitability of tea particularly from smallholders and hence to improve the livelihood of rural people especially women and also to increase Tanzania’s foreign exchange earnings (including a demand driven farmer training programme for empowering growers to use appropriate and efficient tea production techniques).
The programme works closely with other core research programmes as well as various categories of stakeholders to identify constraints that hamper development of the tea industry and propose /implement measures to solve the identified constraints.
Specifically the TTP has been involved in: (1) Undertaking studies to identify constraints to tea production; (2) Creating a network of collaborators across the country for implementing various joint activities to promote tea production; (3) Designing demonstration plots and farmer fields school in various tea growing areas; (4) Designing, producing and distributing written and electronic extension material for helping farmers to understand better the various techniques of tea production; (5) Establishing and maintaining data bases for monitoring and evaluation purpose (6) Organising smallholders into nursery groups for producing tea plants and (7) participation in various agricultural fair and shows such as annual “Nane Nane” fair.
Some of the significant achievements from these activities conducted by TTP include training of about 12,414 farmers. These trained farmers will potentially improve husbandry practices in their farms leading to overall productivity, hence contributing to the overall objective of TRIT.
There are also training programs for extension workers whereby over extension workers were trained on various aspects of tea husbandry hence improving their skills and capability to advise farmers. Other training related activities include establishment of demonstration plots and farmers field schools.
Another important output from TTP is the mobilisation of farmers into village based nurseries for producing seedlings, whereby since 2001, over 3,500 groups (comprising of 13,000 members) were established and managed to raise over 62 million plants.
In order to ensure sustainability of these activities, clonal mother bushes are being proposed to be planted in blocks closer to users (villages) to ensure that selected good quality clonal materials are readily available in respective participating villages.
The tea nurseries component is one of the most significant outputs of the institute as it provides the much needed tea seedlings for both rehabilitating the existing tea farms as well as new planting for upcoming your tea farmers.