IMPLEMENTATION OF NTINGWE TEA TURNAROUND STRATEGY GAINS MOMENTUM // ADA BOARD CONDUCTS OVERSIGHT AT THULWANE CITRUS FARM
With immense challenges faced by the South African tea industry, Ntingwe tea estate is one of the few remaining in the country. The Agribusiness Development Agency (ADA) was mandated by the KwaZulu-Natal government to provide strategic management and leadership for Ntingwe.
The ADA has since proposed a new turn-around strategy and resuscitation plan to return Ntingwe tea estate to full
production and that it is self-sustaining.
In a stakeholder engagement meeting attended by the ADA Board and some members of the Nkandla traditional council, it was revealed that since ADA intervention, Ntingwe has among other things seen rehabilitation and maintenance of tea fields;
restoring and upgrading of critical infrastructure which include processing equipment and water supply;
introduction of new harvesting technologies that will increase yields - at the 2022/23 financial year end, an improvement of yield is expected to go up from 31 tons to 366 tons;
employment of more than 200 field workers and;
Potential markets have been identified within the public sector with some entities signalling interest to purchase packaged Ntingwe tea.
Thulwane Citrus is a 100% black owned citrus farming business managed by Mzo Makhanya in eNkalweni, 20km outside of eShowe.
Makhanya grows quality grapefruit, lemons and oranges which a bulk of the produce is exported to various countries.
In 2019, Makhanya was funded by the ADA to further expand his enterprise.
The funding covered the supply and installation for irrigation system of 20ha of the 114ha section of the farm used for citrus, as well as production inputs and a year’s worth of citrus