Tanganda Tea Company is a Zimbabwean owned company producing tea in the eastern highlands where it also has a packing factory in Mutare which provides packed tea for distribution within the country and the region. The bulk teas produced on the estates are exported around the world. Tanganda Tea Company has been operating continuously since the 1930s to great benefit to the people and the economy of Zimbabwe. In order to expand and diversify the company has embarked on a major diversification into macademia nuts, coffee and avocadoes. At the same time putting together a very high quality cattle breeding herd and at playing its part in the rebuilding of the national cattle herd.
Already growing 2600 hectares of tea, 700 hectares of macademia are being planted, 400 hectares of coffee are being planted and 500 hectares of avocado are being planted. The majority of these plantings are already in the ground and the projects with irrigation will be completed by March 2014. This will create even more work and revenue opportunities for the people within the community and add greatly to the foreign currency earnings of Zimbabwe.
Tanganda Estates provides several benefits for the Chipinge area and many of these are firmly established and are now part of the community.
Tanganda’s Earn and Learn programme started some 50 years ago and by now some 200 000 school children have been educated in this way. The majority of the pupils are orphans and without the programme would never have been educated. This year we have 2000 Earn and Learn pupils at our various schools and they are able to join the programme at age 16. Pupils are accommodated and fed by Tanganda and we provide medical benefits and of course most importantly education.
Those that pass ‘O’ Level obtain Tanganda bursaries to complete ‘A’ Level and during this time they do not work. Several of our pupils have achieved great academic success such as Dr Taruvinga who teaches at the Luton Business School in London and Dr Tande Dhlayao who works at the Agricultural Institute in Brazil. Earn and Learn has provided the background education for many medical Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Bankers and Agronomists now scattered around the world. Several pupils have obtained jobs on our Estates and two of them are field managers on Tingamira and Jersey respectively.
Earn and Learn has the support of the Zimbabwe Government and the President has donated computers to Jersey and Ratelshoek Secondary schools.
Outgrowers are an important part of Tanganda and we have in excess of 1 500 right now. The Outgrowers provide their land and do all the required land preparation and buy tea seedlings from Tanganda at a subsidised rate. We provide fertilizer and other chemicals for which the Outgrower pays from the proceeds of his crop. Our Outgrower Manager and his two extension officers visit the various Outgrowers at least once a month providing guidance and advice which they do not pay for. We send tractors to collect the reaped crop at a reduced charge and we then pay for the crop and process it.
We have recently started providing Outgrowers with Avocado and Macadamia seedlings and we encourage them to grow vegetables which we buy for our schools. Therefore our Outgrower programme is becoming bigger and bigger which most certainly benefits the community but Tanganda also benefits from this as our output is increased.
Tanganda is the largest employer in the Chipinge District; at peak season in excess of 4 000 people work for us and their wages go back into the community. We ensure uninterrupted electricity supply by prepaying our Zesa bills and this enables a vast part of the Chipinge District to benefit from this. Tanganda plays an important role in maintaining public roads which benefits many people and furthermore we provide our trucks to transport people to important public events in the area. The 5 clinics on our Estates play a significant part in the lives of our workers and the surrounding communities as they are open to anyone needing medical care.
Tanganda is proud to be an important player in the Chipinge District and we are aware of our responsibilities and believe we do our part to serve the community.
The strength of Tanganda is the strength of the people and the community of Chipinge and Zimbabwe as a whole.