Zambia Forest and Forestry Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) director of plantations Cosmas Nshingo says the company is developing a five-year strategic plan aimed at revamping Kawambwa Tea Factory to make it competitive.

In a recent interview, Dr Nshingo said there is need to overhaul the equipment at the tea factory in Kawambwa because it is obsolete.

“The equipment at the tea factory cannot match up with modern equipment that other tea factories in the world use.

“The strategic plan will, among other things, address the issue of revamping the irrigation system at the tea plantation,” he said.

Dr Nshingo said well-managed tea fields have a lifespan of 100 years and that the nation can yield good results if the fields are properly managed because consistent harvests can then be guaranteed.

The strategic plan will also look at the issue of applying fertiliser to the tea fields because that has not been done for many years.

“ZAFFICO also wants to expand the tea fields by adding another 500 hectares by the end of the strategic plan but this will only be possible if a tea nursery is established.

“By the first quarter of 2019, we need to start a nursery. We are also looking at incorporating improved varieties of tea that are resistant to diseases,” he said.

However, Dr Nshingo said for the plans to be realised, the estate has to be productive and be able to feed the factory with material to enable it to achieve its production capacity of 30,000 kilogrammes of tea leaves per day.

“The company will also look at improving the skills and competencies of the human resource to make them more efficient,” he said.