East African Agri-Business, a member of East African Holdings, has its well-designed strategic plans to be a major investor in agro business in Ethiopia, both in agricultural products and process industries. Chewaka tea estate is only one step towards this objective.
Chewaka Tea Estate
Chewaka Tea Estate, situated in the scenic beauty of the highlands in the South Western region of Ethiopia at an altitude of 6000 ft above sea level with an average rainfall of 2300mm, is one of the most suitable topography to grow high quality tea by any world standard.
During 1995, East African Agri Business established Chewaka tea estate with an initial investment of 87million Birr in a total land area of 870 Hectares. Till to date the company has managed to plant about 600 hectares of tea and 200 hectares with fire wood plantation. It has also built major infrastructures including arable internal roads. The estate proposes to increase its planted area by another 650 hectares during the next phase of expansion. Ten clone varieties of tea bush are grown in Chewaka Tea Estate of which, four varieties were obtained from the Gumrero tea garden and other six varieties are brought from Kenya. All these varieties are of very high quality known for their high yield potential and resistance to pests and other infections.
Product Profile and Market
The quality of the different grades of tea produced in Chewaka estate are comparable with the best produced elsewhere in the world. 70% of our exported tea find markets in Pakistan, U.A.E. and Sudan regularly.
From the time we launched our tea in the Ethiopian market in 2001, it has made its impacts in the domestic market and currently we enjoy about 45-50% market share in the country. Currently the domestic market, that is highly price oriented mainly requires medium grade blended tea but the company is seeing a change in consumer preferences and it is planning to also launch premium grades for the domestic market.
The Blending and Processing Unit
The tea blending and packing factory is engaged primarily in the blending and packing of branded tea for both domestic and export markets. It has a long standing experience of more than 20 years in this field. Two prominent brands, Black Lion and Good Morning, produced in this factory are market leaders since they were first introduced. Earlier this blending and packing factory depended on the local growers and imports to acquire tea but as the group developed and expanded its own tea estate it is now able to fully supply the unit, which enabled it to have better control on both quality and strategic planning.