Changing climate patterns and increasing temperatures are becoming a growing threat to the livelihoods of smallholder tea producers in East Africa. These smallholders are highly dependent upon tea production as their main source of income and livelihood, and are thus extremely vulnerable to declines in tea production caused by climatic changes.
This 2-year programme will enable 6 smallholder tea partners – 2 in Kenya and 4 in Uganda – to develop and implement strategies that support their smallholder tea producers address and adapt to changing climatic conditions. Project financing has been provided through a 2-year grant awarded to the Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation from Comic Relief, a UK-based donor. The project will be undertaken in partnership by the six producer partners, Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation and Imani Development. Producer partners include Igara, Mabale, Mpanga and Kayonza Smallholder Tea Factories in Uganda, and Kiegoi and Eastern Produce Outgrower Empowerment Programme in Kenya. Collectively, over 30,000 smallholder tea producers supply to these 6 smallholder-owned factories and associations.

What activities will be undertaken?
Project activities will support producers to better understand the implications of long-term climate changes on their farms and livelihoods, and to develop strategies that begin to address such challenges. Strategies will focus on diversifying farm production and associated market opportunities, while investing in the longer-term sustainability of their natural resources and their livelihoods. These strategies have the potential to enhance smallholder resilience to climatic changes while improving household food security, environmental sustainability and income generation options.
The project will draw upon and take forward tools and methodologies developed by the AdapCC public-private partnership initiative undertaken by Cafédirect plc, GTZ and producer partners in Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua and Kenya (2007-2009). Key activities will include:

• Each of the six tea partner associations will undertake a risk and opportunity analysis with their smallholder members, enabling them to share experiences of changing climatic conditions and identify potential risks, for example crop failure as a result of extreme weather conditions.

• Producer partners will work with their members to develop ‘adaptation and diversification’ strategies, outlining a series of activities to be trailed by participating producers. These may include introducing alternative fruit and vegetable crops for subsistence or trade, establishing demonstration plots to raise local awareness of these crops, reforestation activities etc. Seed financing will be provided to each of the six producer partners to support strategy initiation.

• A mentoring network will be established to support strategy development, enabling smallholders to draw upon partner support services as needed. The network will include project partners, smallholder leaders and local experts. Cross-site learning opportunities will be facilitated, enabling smallholders to share experiences and learn from effective practices.

• A participatory monitoring and evaluation process will be undertaken throughout the project, supporting producer partners to identify indicators and assess project progress and outcomes.

  • Project Donor

    Comic Relief

  • Number of Tea Cooperatives Involved


  • Total Budget

  • Number of smallholder farmers involved


  • Countries

    Kenya and Uganda


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The weather has changed, we are not receiving enough rain and the experts tell us its because the environment has been spoiled by our activities: tree reduction and chemicals. Now it is very necessary we participate in climate change initiatives.


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