by MKV Carr · Cited by 8 — Brooke Bond Tanzania Ltd1. Lugoda, Kilima,. Kibwele. 6644. 3152. Mufindi Tea Company Ltd. Itona. 1617. Njombe. Luponde Tea Estates Ltd. Luponde. 380.

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Reference for paper: Carr, M.K.V., Ndamugoba, D.M., Burgess, P.J. & Myinga, G.R. (1992). An overview of tea research in Ta nzania Рwith special reference to the Southern Highlands. In: Proceedings of Conference on Agricultural Research, Training and Technology Transfer in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania: Past Achievements and Future Prospects. October 5-9 1992. (Eds. J.A. Ekpere, D.J. Rees, R.P. Mbwile and N.G. Lyino). Uyol e Agricultural Centre, Mbeya, Tanzania. 237-252. Contact: AN OVERVIEW OF TEA RESEARCH IN TANZANIA ΠWITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS M.K.V. Carr1, D.M. Ndamugoba 2, P.J. Burgess3 and G.R. Myinga3 1International Centre for Plantation Studies, Silsoe College (Cranfield Institute of Technology), Silsoe, Bedford, UK, MK45 4DT 2Kifyulilo Tea Research Station, P.O. Box 93, Mufindi, Tanzania 3Ngwazi Tea Research Unit, Mufindi, Tanzania, co/ P.O.Box 4955, Dar-es-Salaam ABSTRACT The history of tea development in Tanzania fr om the early part of this century to the present is summarised. Average yields of made tea from well managed estates in the Mufindi district have increased from around 600 kg ha -1 in the late 1950s to 3000 kg ha-1 at the present time: by comparison, yields from smallholder farms have remained much lower, averaging only 400-500 kg ha -1. There have been a large number of technical, economic and other changes over th e last 30 to 40 years. The removal of shade trees, the use of herbicides, the application of NPK compound fertilisers, the introduction of irrigation (on some estates) and changes in harvesting policy have all contributed to the increases in yield. Financial and infrastructural problems have contributed to the low yields from m any smallholders and others, and have limited the uptake of new technology. The contribution of research is reviewed, from the start of the Tea Research Institute of East Africa in Kenya in 1951, through to the development of the Marikitanda Tea Research Centre in Amani in 1967; the Ngwazi Tea Research Unit in Mufindi (1967 to 1970, and from 1986), and lastly the Kifyulilo Tea Research Station, also in Mufindi in 1986. The yiel d potential of well fertilized and irrigated clonal tea, grown at an altitude of 1800 m, is around 6000 kg ha -1. This potential is reduced by drought, lack of fertilizer, bush vacancies and inefficient harvesting practices. The corresponding potential yi elds at high (2200 m) and low (1200 m) altitude sites range from 3000-3500 kg ha -1 up to 9000-10000 kg ha -1 and are largely a function of temperature. The opportunitie s for increasing yields of existing tea, smallholder and estate, are enormous. Tea production in the Southern Highl ands of Tanzania is about to expand rapidly. Good, appropriate research is needed to sustain this development over the long term, and suggestions on how best this is done in order to assist the large scale producers as well as the smallholders, are discussed.

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2 INTRODUCTION The first experimental tea in Tanzania wa s planted in 1904 by German settlers at the Agricultural Research Station in Amani in the Usambara mountains, and at Kyimbila Mission in the Rungwe district in the Southern Highlands. Commercial tea production did not begin in Tanzan ia though until 1926, and in 1929 a land development survey commission recommended that tea should replace coffee in Mufindi and Tukuyu. Following the appointme nt of a tea officer, free seed was distributed to interested settlers during the period 1930 to 1934. A small tea factory was opened in Mufindi in 1930. By 1934, 1000 ha had been planted in Tanzania, and this produced 20 t of processed tea, of which 9.3 t was exported. The tea industry in Tanzania had begun (Carr et al., 1988). The outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 led to the internment of many of the German settlers, and their estates and farms were taken over by the British Custodian of Enemy Property. In 1940 the Tanganyika Tea Company (a subsidiary of Brooke Bond Africa Ltd) having leased all `enemy’ tea estates in Tanganyika, began to plant more tea in Mufindi, and to build a new factory. By 1950 annual production in the three main tea areas , Mufindi, Tukuyu and the Usambaras had reached about 900 t. In 1956 production in Mufindi alone was 1700t, and in Tukuyu 450 t. At independence in 1961, tea production in the Southern Highlands was wholly in the hands of foreign companies and a few settlers. Smallholders began to grow tea soon afterwards, and by 1963/64 there were about 330 ha. The Tanzania Tea Authority was formed in 1968 and has two main functions, one of which is to manage the planting and processing of tea, principa lly in the smallholder sector. There are now about 28,700 farmers in Tanzania, with an average holding of only about 0.3 ha, who produce around 4000 t/annum of tea from about 9000 ha. In 1990 Tanzania produced a total of 18000 t of processed t ea, from a planted area of about 19000 ha, making this country the third largest produ cer after Kenya (ca. 200000 t) and Malawi (ca. 40000 t). Zimbabwe produces a sim ilar amount to Tanzania. About three quarters of the national crop (ca. 14000 t) is produced in the Southern Highlands from about 11000 ha of planted tea,. which is cen tred around factories in the districts of Mufindi, Njombe, Rungwe and Tukuyu (Table 1) . Tea contributes directly to the livelihood of at least 150,000 people living in the Southern Highlands. Tea is the third highest earner of fo reign exchange within the agricultural sector, and it has recently been identified as a priority crop within the National Agricultural Research Masterplan. Table 1. Production of made tea and areas of tea within the Southern Highlands (1990/91). Region Operating Company Factories Production (t y-1) Area of tea (ha) Mufindi Brooke Bond Tanzania Ltd1 Lugoda, Kilima, Kibwele 6644 3152 Mufindi Tea Company Ltd Itona 1617 Njombe Luponde Tea Estates Ltd Luponde 380 2482 Tanzania Tea Authority Lupembe 973 Rungwe Tanzania Tea Authority Mwakaleli, Katumba 2180 4036 Tukuyu Tukuyu Tea Estates Ltd Msekela, Chivanjee 2099 1530

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3 1.Includes production from smallholders in the Mufindi district. Production trends A very large proportion of the estate gr own tea was originally propagated from seed, and is therefore genetically diverse. Since about 1970 most new plantings and nearly all in-filling has been with clonal pl ants, either selected locally or imported from Kenya or Malawi. Nevertheless, the productivity of some well-managed tea estates in the Southern Highlands has rise n considerably over the last 30-40 years, through improved agronomic practices and good management. This is illustrated by the records of Kilima Estate in Mufindi wh ere average yields have increased from about 600 kg ha -1 in the late 1950s to around 3000 kg ha -1 at the present time (Figure 1). Indeed, it is reported by Hester (1991) that yields in Mufindi in 1952 averaged only 225 kg ha-1. In the smallholder sector by contrast, yi elds have generally remained low, at around 400-500 kg ha-1 due largely to financial and infrastructural constraints to production which have also limited the uptake of new technology. The same problems have also faced a number of private and publicly owned estates. The contribution of research to th e increases in productivity on the better commercial estates are considered in this paper, whilst the constraints faced by smallholders and others are also highlighted, and quantified. Figure 1. Annual yields of made tea per hectare from Kilima Tea Estate, Mufindi, from 1995 to 1990. RESEARCH REVIEW Tea planters the world over bring with them the experiences they have gained elsewhere where climatic, soil and other cond itions may vary considerably. This has been true in Tanzania as much as elsewh ere, and continues to this day. Until they, and their advisers, have been convinced by the results of research undertaken locally, or by the experience of their neighbours, th at new production techniques are superior in crop and financial terms to those that th ey are used to then, for defendable reasons, 01 2 350556065707580859095 Year Yield of made tea (t ha -1)

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4 they will continue to do what they know best and avoid taking unnecessary risks. The tradition within the tea industry of `visiting agents’ appointed by head office travelling the world and transferring knowledge from one country to another, has also sometimes acted as a brake on local innovation. `Standing orders’ issued from a head office, perhaps several thousand kilometres away from the sites of production, have also been responsible for restricting new thinking in the tea industry. Smallholders have perhaps not been constrained in th e same way, although many will have learnt their trade whilst working on nearby commercia l estates. This built in conservatism within the tea industry is something which research and educational establishments have long been trying to overcome. In Tanzania, particularly in the Southern Highlands, there is perhaps at last a sign of progress. Tea Research Institute of East Africa Organised research work into tea wa s first initiated in East Africa as a subsidiary division of Brooke Bond (Afr ica) Ltd in 1949. The scope of this department was expanded by the formal in auguration in 1951 of the Tea Research Institute of East Africa (TRIEA) as a co mpany supported with funds derived from a compulsory cess levied by the joint Tea Bo ards in Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda on producers. The Tanganyika Tea Board cont ributed 15% of the annual budget, which corresponded to the proportion of crop produ ced in Tanganyika compared with the total in the three countries.. Initially th e headquarters of the TRIEA was at Kimugu Estate in Kericho, Kenya, but moved to a new site on Timbilil Estate in 1959. In the same year a small sub-station was opened at Amani in Tanganyika. In 1967 the development of a field sta tion in Tanzania began at Marikitanda, Amani in the Usambara Mountains (O’Sh ea, 1968). At about the same time the TRIEA also leased a small area of tea on Ngwazi Estate in Mufindi on which to conduct basic studies on the soil/plant/water relationships of tea, a 3-year project funded in part by the then UK Ministry of Overseas Development (Carr, 1968). During the early years the TRIEA con centrated on plant establishment and improvement, crop nutrition and weed contro l; including some basic studies of the responses of tea to shade. Replicated field trials were established at sites in each of the three countries including several in th e Southern Highlands. These were looked after by the estates concerned, with fiel d recorders responsible for applying the fertiliser to the experimental treatments, and for recording the harvested weight of fresh leaf from individual plots. These da ta were then forwarded to Kericho, Kenya for analysis and interpretation by the senior scientists responsible. The annual yields from each of these experiments were reporte d routinely in Annual Reports, copies of which were sent to each estate. Occasional advisory visits were also made to each tea district in East Africa by the senior scien tists (of which there were only 3 or 4). Technical courses were held in Keric ho, Kenya including the occasional specialist conference. In 1965 the first edition of an advisory book entitled `Tea Estate Practice’ was published. This brought together the collective results of experiments, and the experience of scientists and grower s, on which general advice on all aspects of tea management in the field was give n. The TRIEA at this time did not conduct research on tea processing. A second edition of Tea Estate Practice was published in 1966; it was later (1969) renamed as th e Tea Growers Handbook to highlight the increasing role that smallholders were play ing in the tea industry in East Africa. Routine soil, and later leaf, chemical analy tical services were provided to growers, but samples had to be sent to Kenya. R oot samples were also analysed for total

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5 carbohydrate content. In 1964 tea clones became available for commercial release and cuttings were sold by the TRIEA to growers, including those in Tanzania. The TRIEA Annual Reports for 1963, 1964 and 1965 listed 13 experiments which were being conducted in Tanzania at that time. These included an experiment with magnesium (labelled T24, Herkulu Estate, West Usambaras), fertiliser placement at planting (T23, Kiganga Estate, Tukuyu; T25, Musekera Estate, Tukuyu), and a number of different factorial NxPx K (and sometimes S) trials, including T2 (Kivere Estate, Mufindi), T3 (Luhota Estate, Mufindi), T4 (Ngambo Estate, Amani), T6 (Kwankoro Estate, Amani), T11 (Lugoda Estate, Mufindi), T13 (Kilima Estate, Mufindi) and T19 (Mwitika Estate, Tukuyu). There were also two shade x nitrogen experiments (T8, Monga Estate, Amani; a nd T14, Kinoga Estate, Mufindi) and one bringing-into-bearing experiment (T7, Ng ambi Estate, Amani). A TRIEA field officer responsible for these experime nts was based in Mufindi until 1965. The conclusions reached from the work in 1964 were as follows (TRIEA Annual Report, pages 55-56): “Fertiliser and shade experiments have confirmed the value of applying at least 80 lb N acre -1 (90 kg ha -1) in mature tea in all districts and have indicated the need for a reduction in sh ade in fields receiving this rate of application. Responses to phosphate fertilisers have been greater in Mufindi than elsewhere, and ther e is an indication that optimum responses will be obtained when the phosphate application is combined with high application rates of nitr ogen. A significant response to potash has now occurred at Amani. In this area potash deficiency is sufficiently widespread for potash treatment to be generally recommended. Potash deficiency has been recognised at Lupembe, and in parts of Mufindi though no responses to application of potash have yet occurred in the Mufindi experiments; this may reflect considerable variations in the local soil conditions. A new NPK experiment has been laid out at Lupembe. A response to gypsum, applied in the planting hole, has been obtained in an experiment at Tukuyu.” It must be noted that the best yields of processed tea recorded in any of these experiments were only about 1300-1500 kg ha -1 (experiment T2), whilst several had yields as low as 350-700 kg ha -1 (T4, T8, T11, T13). There were obviously major limiting factors, other than those being teste d. One clue is perhaps given by the large response to the addition of leaf litter (from Grevillea shade trees and from tea) to plots. Yields were increased from 818 (without) to 1400 kg ha -1 (with), which was by far the largest response to any treatment combination in these experiments, which were being undertaken when weed control using herbicides (paraquat and simazine) was being introduced into tea as an alternative to the use of jembes. The eradication of couch grass, reduced damage to the tea bush frames (resulting in improved ground cover), minimal surface root disturbance and the retention and incorporation of leaf fall and prunings in the soil, together resulted in a major change to the physical and nutrient status in the surface soil layers, and hence to the availability of phosphate and potassium fertilisers in the acid soils (Wilson, 1972).

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6 Tea Research Institute – Marikitanda The TRIEA sub-station at Amani neve r became fully operational, and in 1965 the Governing Body agreed to the establis hment of a new Tea Research Centre in Tanzania. Eventually a 20 ha site was chosen at Marikitanda in the Amani district of the East Usambaras (alt. 1050 m). In 1967, following the arrival of Piers O’Shea, the first officer-in-charge, development began. The hilly site had a history of previous cultivation under coffee and cinchona (both with Grevillea shade), and, from 1958 to 1965, as a tea nursery. The secondary bush was cleared and in the following years a number of field experiments were establis hed, principally clonal field trials, crop establishment and crop nutrition experiments (O’Shea, 1968). The site at Marikitanda was deliberately chosen as a place to st udy the nutrition of tea grown on eroded and leached soils. By the end of 1971, 10 ha of trials had been established. These included: mulch in young tea (T43, T50), forms of nitrogen (T39), soil mixtures in polythene sleeves (T35, T45 and T47), bringing into bearing (T41), clones x magnesium (T44), sulphur (T53 and T56), fertiliser in the planting hole (T55), vegetative propagation (T62), and later NxPxK x mulch factorial (T66), replanting (T68), plucking surface (T54), Armillaria control (T61), forms of mulch (T72) and pruning systems (T76). The results of these experiments are variously summarised in Annual Reports of the TRIEA from 1970 onwards, with cons olidated reports on specific issues as follows: Mulching experiments (TRI EA, 1971, 1974 and 1979); soil mixtures (TRIEA, 1970); bringing into bearing (TRIEA, 1972); Armillarea control (TRIEA, 1974); NxPxK x mulch (TRIEA, 1977); re planting (TRIEA, 1977); pruning systems (TRIEA, 1979) and sulphur (TRIEA, 1974). One of the most important observations to emerge from this work was the important role of mulch together with a balanced NPK compound fertiliser had on the establishment and development of young tea plants on these debilitated soils. In addition to these experiments, a numbe r of clonal field trials were established (labelled C.F.T.M.) in 1967, 1968 and 1970. Annual yields from each of these trials were summarised in the TRIEA Annual Reports for 1975 and 1979. Clones labelled with the prefix 200 were selected at Aman i or Marikitanda. Clone 31/11 was grafted as a scion on a number of clonal rootstocks in 1974. By this time, about 1/4 million clonal plants and cuttings had been released to the industry from Marikitanda, mainly to the Southern Highlands. Experiments which were continued or were initiated elsewhere in Tanzania during the 1970s included two height reduction pruning trials which began in 1974 in Mufindi (T65, Lupeta Estate; T67, Kilima Es tate), and a nitrogen experiment in 1977 also in Mufindi (T60, Matagutu Estate). Experiment T13 (NxP) continued on Kilima Estate in Mufindi until 1988, but the other field experiments were abandoned over the years. From 1967 to 1979 when the Tea Res earch Institute of East Africa formally split up the meteorological data for Marikita nda were always reported in the TRIEA Annual Reports. After 1979 Marikitanda came under the cont rol of the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development. During the next 10 years or so little new work was started, but routine recording of the experiments continued. A nitrogen (as NPK) experiment (T91) was initiated at Marikitanda in 1983, and another (T82) at Maruku (Bukoba district) in 1981. A plucking interval study (T83) was also started in Maruku in 1987. Three new clonal field trials started at Marikitanda in 1979, 1980 and 1985. The future management of this research institute is now under review.

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8 obtained at the time. New yield targets were being set for managers. The results also suggested that rates of fertiliser applica tion could be substantially increased (from 100 to 300-400 kg N ha -1) in well irrigated tea. The results of similar irrigation experiments being carried out in Malawi though gave very different results from those in Mufindi. These differences coul d be explained on the basis of the large saturation deficits of the air experienced during the dry season in some years in Malawi which restricted shoot extension rate s even when the soil was wet, but not in Mufindi (Carr et al., 1987). A number of factors were therefore be ginning to come together during this period from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s . The introduction of herbicides; the removal of shade trees; the use of NPK co mpound fertiliser (rather than sulphate of ammonia); a recognition of the role of irrigation. Collectively these factors were responsible for the increases in yield which occurred throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s on Brooke Bond Tanzania Esta tes (Congdon, 1991). Other growers though were constrained by a shortage of cas h, labour and the difficulties in obtaining expensive inputs. By the mid-1980s, it looked as though the commercial yields had reached a plateau of around 2500 kg ha -1 (Figure 1). The pressure though was still on to reduce the unit costs of production, and this could be best done by increasing yields from existing tea. The two most expensive inputs were irrigation water and nitrogen fertiliser. Silsoe College was invited by Brooke Bond Tanzania Ltd to undertake a statistical analysis of long-term commercial yield data to try to identify the optimum levels, and to see if there were opportunities to raise yield further in a cost-effective way. This request eventually led to a project which was jointly funded by the UK Overseas Development Administration (they had originally funded the earlier work at Ngwazi), Brooke Bond Tanzania Ltd and the Tanzania Tea Authority. Later, Mufindi Tea Company joined the consortium. The project immediately had a wider brief and this included doing a similar statistical anal ysis of commercial yield data for sites elsewhere in east Africa (in Kenya a nd Malawi) and from Tukuyu (Stephens et al ., 1988; Carr and Stephens, 1991). The data we re not always easy to interpret, and because of this it was decided to initiate an irrigation x nitrogen field experiment at Ngwazi. After an interval of 16 years, research at Ngwazi had begun again. This new experiment (labelled N9), based on the line-source technique, has allowed a large number of treatment combinations to be tested in a relatively small area of clone 6/8. In the six years since 1986, response functions to water and to nitrogen have been developed which can be used to quan tify either the yield lost as a result of drought in different areas of Tanzania (a nd elsewhere), or to predict the likely benefits from irrigation in yield and cash terms (Figure 2). At the same time, new yield targets have again been set for commercial growers, of 5000-6000 kg ha -1 from well irrigated (500-700 mm per season) and fertilised (ca. 300-350 kg ha -1) clonal tea (Stephens and Carr, 1989, 1991a, 1991b). The resu lts of this experiment also suggest the yields that can be achieved in the S outhern Highlands with low (no irrigation, 100 kg N ha-1) input systems of production (1200-1500 kg ha -1), declining eventually perhaps to 300-500 kg ha -1 if no fertiliser is applied. The same experiment has also advanced our understanding of how weather in fluences the rates of development and growth of individual shoots and hence yield (Stephens and Carr, 1993a; 1993b). Knowledge of this type can be used to optimise harvesting practices, for example by predicting harvest intervals in terms of phyllochrons, estimated from measurements of air temperature (Burgess and Myinga, 1992).

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9 01000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 0200400600800 Potential soil water deficit (mm) Yield of made tea (kg ha -1)300 kg N/ha 225 kg N/ha 150 kg N/ha 0 kg N/ha Figure 2. Yield responses of clone 6/8 to potential soil water deficit for four nitrogen treatments (Ngwazi Tea Research Unit, 1991/1992) A fundamental philosophy behind the work is the need to try to ensure that field experiments not only provide results of shor t-term commercial value, but also that they contribute to the basic understanding of the mechanisms which control the responses (see Smith et al ., 1993). Only in this way will it be possible to extrapolate results from one location to another, wher e the rainfall distribution is different for example, or where it is warmer or cool er, or to have a foundation of knowledge on which to begin to develop answers to the questions which growers will be posing in five or ten years time. Thus, advice can now be given on the yield increases to be expected by supplying additional irrigation water (up to 3 kg ha -1 for each mm of effective water applied), or by increasing the level of fertiliser in various combinations. This has already led in part to the yield/time curve continuing to rise, when it was feared that a plateau had been reached in 1985. The results have also shown the yield le vels that can be obtained from irrigated clonal tea, well supplied with fertiliser, in non-traditional tea areas such as the grasslands around Ngwazi estate or in the Njombe district. Major new developments are now occurring at both sites with big investments by Brooke Bond Tanzania Ltd, and the Commonwealth Development Corpora tion. In 5-10 years time there will be an extra 2600 ha of irrigated tea in th e Southern Highlands producing up to 13 million kg of made tea per annum, equivalent to more than 70% of the current total national output. In addition, there will be improvements in the management of existing tea, as a result of using the expe rimental results to justify, for example, investment in irrigation schemes, including the construction of storage dams and new irrigation systems by Mufindi Tea Company (Weatherhead et al ., 1990). Planting tea in the grasslands has the added advantag e that it protects the remaining areas of rainforest. New large tea projects are also planned by the Tanzania Tea Authority in the Southern Highlands at Dabaga and Itambo. The same research philosophy as that outlined above lay behind the planning and design of the second field experiment at the Ngwazi Tea Research Unit which was established in 1988, and labelled N10. This is a detailed evaluation of the

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10 response of six clones (chosen for particular scientific and commercial attributes) to drought (and irrigation) and to temperature. The clones are from Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania. The aim is to identify those cu ltivars which are most suitable for planting in the Southern Highlands, with or without irrigation, and at relatively high or low altitudes. The experiment is also provi ding information on the possible selection criteria for the next generation of clones. For example, the high yield of clone S15/10 (from Kenya) is associated with the large proportion of dry matter which is partitioned to the leaves and harvestabl e shoots, with correspondingly less to the structural roots, compared with other cl ones (Burgess, 1992). Similarly, the shoots of clone SFS 150 (from Malawi) are able to con tinue to extend at temperatures below the base temperatures of the other clones. Since it yields more than them during the cool season, it is probably suitable for high altitude tea areas such as Luponde Estate (alt. 2200 m). Recent analysis of earlier work at the Ngwazi Tea Research Unit showed for the first time, that there we re quite large clonal differences in the responses of shoot extension to changes in temperature (Stephens and Carr, 1990). Clone S15/10 yielded about 30% more th an the other clones in experiment N10 when well watered. Indeed, yields of 3800 kg ha -1 were obtained from this clone in the third year after planting, and 5400 kg ha -1 in year four. Clone S15/10 also yielded slightly more than the others when only pa rtially irrigated. On this basis, although the relative decline in yield was greatest with this clone, it could still be classified as drought tolerant. Surprisingly, clone 207 (o riginally selected on Luiga Estate in Mufindi) which is widely grown in th e Southern Highlands on estates and by smallholders, yielded least when unirrigated, largely it appears because it is very susceptible to the fungal disease Phomopsis theae. This disease was first identified in Mufindi in 1963 (Hester, 1973) but since it can be controlled by irrigation (Carr, 1974), is no longer a major problem there. Clearly, it is still a problem for smallholders, especially those growing clone 207, without access to irrigation. The work at the Ngwazi Tea Research Unit is now entirely funded by the tea industry in Tanzania and managed by Silsoe College. In addition to the original members of the consortium, the Tanganyika Wattle Company at Njombe, and George Williamsons (Tanzania) Ltd (with an estate in Tukuyu as well as in the Usambaras) are now contributing to the cost of th e work, including the foreign exchange component. Each member of the consortiu m is represented on a Management Board. Over the next four years, the work will be expanded to include fundamental studies of how different clones respond to mechan ical harvesting, the development and evaluation of composite plants, and an experiment to determine the optimum plant density for areas which experience differe nt levels of drought. Experiment N10 (comparison of clones) will continue, whilst experiment N9 (irrigation x nitrogen) will run until the response functions have st abilised. Tea quality evaluations will be initiated in order to give an estimate of tota l value, rather than yield only. There is a well equipped agro-meteorological station at Ngwazi with data for the periods 1967- 1970 and from 1986 to the present. Kifyulilo Tea Research Station With the demise of the Tea Research In stitute of East Africa in the late 1970s, and its subsequent consolidation as th e Tea Research Foundation of Kenya in Kericho, Tanzania was left with little or no active research and virtually no infrastructure apart from what had been le ft at Marikitanda. The tea industry itself was also struggling during the 1980s as a result in part of national economic and

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11 individual financial difficulties. When it is difficult to get fuel or spare parts for the factory, research is perhaps not the most important issue. The problem remains though that when the upturn comes, people i mmediately want answers to problems. For example, which clone should we plant? It was when this vacuum existed that Silsoe College was first invited to work with Brooke Bond Tanzania Ltd to help to solve a specific problem. Soon afterwards though it became clear that if the tea industry was to expand, it was likely to be mainly in the Southern Highlands, and probably not in the north of the country. It therefore seemed eminently sensible for the new “Tea Research Institute of Tanzania” to be based in the Southern Highlands, and not in the Usambara Mountains. In 1986 the last remaining Germ an tea growers in Mufindi (Werner and Helga Voight) left Tanzania to return to Europe. The Government of West Germany donated the farm (Kifyulilo) to the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development with the expectation that it would become the new centre for tea research in Tanzania. Since then, with support from the Government, and from the Tanzania Tea Authority, the Kifyulilo Tea Research Station has developed a programme of research, principally clona l field trials, crop nutrition studies and mechanical harvesting experiments. Laborat ories and other facilities have also been developed slowly as funds became available. Kifyulilo is situated on the extreme western edge of the Mufindi escarpment, in an area of high rainfall and on steep slopes with soils that were derived under ra inforest. It is only 20 km from Ngwazi Tea Research Unit, but soil and climatic c onditions, particularly the duration of the dry season, are different (Stephens et al ., 1988). The National Tea Research Coordinator is the Officer-in-Charge of Kifyulilo, and as such is also responsible for field experiments conducted elsewhere in Tanzania, including those remaining at Marikitanda (T41, T60, T91 and T93 (zinc) a nd the clonal field trials) and at Maruku (T82, T83 and T85 (zinc)) (Ndamugoba, 1989). In Mufindi, two clonal field trials (unde r irrigation) were started in cooperation with Brooke Bond Tanzania Ltd, on Luisenga Estate (in 1987) and on Luiga Estate (in 1988). On Livalonge Estate there is a zinc response trial on irrigated tea (T86). At Kifyulilo itself, new field experiments have been started to study the nutrition of mature seedling tea which has been starved of nutrients during recent years, this included a nitrogen trial (T90). New clonal field trials (rainfed only) have also recently (1989) been planted at Kifyulilo, and a museum of all clones known to be grown in Tanzania has been established, a ve ry valuable national resource. There is also a zinc experiment, a mechanical harvesting trial and, on a neighbouring smallholder plot, a study of how best to weed and to infill tea with a large number of vacancies. A start has been made on se lecting clones and on developing composite plants. Two experiments have also been initiated in the Tukuyu district (zinc, and NxK, both are sited on Rungwe Tea Estate). An agro-meteorological station is in the process of being established at Kifyulilo. Although there are sometimes practical di fficulties, every attempt is being made to ensure that there is good cooperation and liaison between staff at the Ngwazi Tea Research Unit and Kifyulilo Tea Research Station.

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