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The Impacts of Tea Production in the Socio-Economic Development of Rungwe District of Tanzania, 1960-2020

  • Eva Saimoni Mwambogolo
  • 1951-1963
  • Oct 21, 2023
  • History

The Impacts of Tea Production in the Socio-Economic Development of Rungwe District of Tanzania, 1960-2020

Eva Saimoni Mwambogolo
St. Augustine University of Tanzania


Received: 01 September 2023; Revised: 17 September 2023; Accepted: 23 September 2023; Published: 21 October 2023


The study aims at analyzing and examining the impact of tea production in Rungwe District in Tanzania from 1960 – 2020. Tea has been grown in this area since pre-colonial time until to date. This, however, has not been without impacts to the people of Rungwe. These impacts have not been actively put down in order to help the present and future generation learn and cope with global changing techniques and methods of modern tea farming. The study has used historical approach and integrated the agricultural policies as a way of analyzing the impacts of tea production in Rungwe District of Tanzania. The study has used the qualitative and quantitative methods and data was collected through interviews from the key informants and documentary reviews. The study revealed that tea production contributed to the transformation of Rungwe District from rural to urban.  The study also suggests that, the impact of tea growing has continued changing depending on the signs of the times. For instance, when the political juggles change, such as nationalization and privatization of national resources, the policies also change and, hence, the impacts change. All these have been meticulously tackled in this study.

Keywords: Tea production, impact of tea, farmers, Colonialism. Rungwe District


The history of the people in Rungwe District has gone in various stages since the end of 19th century. The presence of Germans in Rungwe District of Tanzania brought significant socio-economic changes to the indigenous people and their societies. Particularly, they brought changes in the production from subsistence activities such as hunting, gathering, and fishing, production of banana, yams, potatoes, millet, tuber, pumpkin, maize, beans, and cassava to commodity production of cash crops such as tea, wheat, coffee and rubber.[1] Commodity production was highly done in the monetization economy that was needed by the colonial and capitalists industries. Good climatic conditions supported the development of cash crops in Rungwe District.

In Rungwe District, tea was introduced as a cash crop in 1904; the pioneer was Major Herman von Wissmann. Among other areas in Southern highland, Rungwe District historically was the first place to grow tea as a cash crop. The important area for research process for tea production was Kyimbila which gave positive result for starting large scale production of tea. [2]

The introduction of tea production in Rungwe was the door for the exploitation of the natives, since the colonialists introduced taxes, cheap and forced labor, and people without their own will could go to colonialists’ farms to work. Some worked in order to pay tax or being forced by colonial agents like Askari, Akida, Jumbe and Mnyapara. The amount which they were paid was different from what they were given, since they could work for many hours in hard conditions and being paid very low amount of money. The amount they got was just for the basic needs, this forced them to go back every day to farm in order to run their own life. This was the logic of capitalists in exports of capital that led to 19thcentury colonization of Africa which aimed at exploitation through cheap labor for absolute surplus value through the colonial state machinery.

The German Colonialists created their own policies that could enable them to reach the goal, these policies were for production as well as mobilizing the labor for their farms that was to ensure that there was constant presence of cheap labor in their own farms. For instance, in 1900s the German District introduced hut and poll taxes costing about 3 rupees. There was no other means to get these moneys to pay taxes than to go to work in colonial farms and plantation, so that one gets some money to pay tax to colonial government as well as to afford his own basic needs. This actually was the way to exploit the indigenous people, who could no way around go to work in colonial farms[3]. The whole system of life depended much in money system, since the time before colonialist that most exchanges was battery done.

In 1910 colonial government introduced money system in trade exchange to ensure that all people became obedient to the government, though participating in various economic activities, since there was no way out to get money for paying tax and affording basic needs except through involving in colonial activities.[4]

Geographical Location of Rungwe District

Rungwe district is located in the Southern highland of Tanzania in region of Mbeya near Malawi Border. As a part of Mbeya it covers total area of 2,221SqKm in which the arable land is about 1,668.259 Sq. Km. The remaining land is mountainous about 498.3 Sq. km and forest 44.5 Sq. Km. The land of Rungwe district is at latitude of “80 30 East and 9o30, and longitude “330 and 340 South. The nearby district borders are Ileje in the West, Kyela District in the South, Makete District in the East and Mbeya Rural District in the North. The District Head quarter is situated at Tukuyu that is about 79 km from Mbeya city along Uyole, Ibonde Highway that passes Kyela to the boarder of Malawi.[5]

 The main division of Rungwe District are; Ukukwe, Busokelo, Pakati and urban Tukuyu. In this main division there are 37 wards and 162 villages. These villages are further sub- divided into 742 Sub-villages in order to facilitate administration in the government and people in Rungwe district, these are called hamlets. Population census in Mbeya region, specifically in Rungwe District Council 2002 report was that Rungwe district council had 306, 380 people out of which 161, 344 equal to 53% were females and 145, 036 equal  to 47%were males. According to district report, expected that the population growth per year is 1.9 percent per year the district expected to have about 378332 people by 2010.[6]

Figure 1.0: Map of Mbeya Region showing Rungwe District Boundaries- Study Area

Map of Mbeya Region showing Rungwe District boundaries- study area

SOURCE; Adapted and modified from “History/ Rungwe District Council”,(1.07.2022)

The people of Rungwe Rungwe District

The origin of the Nyakyusa people who are the indigenous of Rungwe District, were from Mahenge in Ulanga, Ndaba and Ulugulu recent found in the region of Morogoro. Before their name of Wanyakyusa they were known as Wasokile later changed into Nyakyusa. They moved from Morogoro through Uhehe and Ubena land, reached at Kyela and established their settlement around Lake Nyasa and some moved near Safwa land that now known to be Tukuyu and Kiwira. According to historical background of Nyakyusa or Wasokile, they started their movement toward southern highland in 16th Century and 17th century.[7] Now the inhabitants of Rungwe District are not only Nyakyusa due high socio- economic development. Thus, there are various ethnic groups but mainly are Nyakyusa; others are Safwa, Ndali, Nyiha, Kisi, Kinga and others from near districts.

Social and economic activities

Rungwe District economy from pre- colonial societies to post-colonial the people of Rungwe produced crop cultivation includes agriculture, Livestock, fishing activities and Trade exchange. In agriculture, they practice agriculture activities, crops rotation in their field with, cow’s pears, beans, finger mille, and sweet potatoes.  Pumpkins, maize, bananas, cassava, paddy, and yams that used for trade exchange with other societies. [8]  Therefore, good climatic condition, good fertility soil; reliable rainfall influenced the development of agriculture activities in Rungwe District during the pre- colonial period and until now there is good climatic condition which supports Agriculture activities for tea crop, coffee and banana.


According to 2022 National Housing and population census, the population of Rungwe District Council was 273, 536 people of whom 144, 119 are females and 129, 444 are males.


This article was guided by the political economy theory and, particularly, the mode of production theory and related it to general theories such as the social constructionist theory. The theory describes that the nature of production and reproduction of the society shape the economic base and super structure system of a given society. The mode of production as argued by Karl Marx (1818-1883) determines the transformations of the society. The development of the economy in a society is historical and all societies transform from one stage to another out of these forces. The centrality of this theory is that it underpins the fact that all things, be it social, political, cultural, are economic in nature.[9]The basis of social life is economic relations.[10] The way a society produces its goods to meet its material needs and the mode of distribution determine social relations in society.[11]The theory is related to this paper on tea production in Rungwe District, because it provides an important landscape concerning the historical connectivity on society’s production and reproduction and, particularly, tea production and on how that impacted, shaped, and transformed the Rungwe District society’s life in the period under discussion

Literature Review

The Literature review indicates that tea originated from Yunnan, China, during the Shang Dynasty (1500 BC–1046 BC). It was used as a medical drink during the 4th century and, later, from the end of the 16thcentury onwards, as a beverage.[12]It has been promoted for having a variety of positive health benefits; these benefits have been effectively confirmed in humans. Tea was introduced to more than fifty-two countries and Yunnan was unanimously accepted as the original home of tea.[13] Tea plant was first introduced in Europe 16thC, but the actual cultivation started in 1640. The first country in Europe to bring Green leaves was Dutch.In America tea started in 1664 in New Amsterdam known as New York.In Africa, tea production is carried out in Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, and Uganda.[14] These are the major producers and exporters of tea in Africa. Tea in Tanzania is grown most in the Southern Highlands zone in Mufindi and Rungwe; in the Northern zone in Lushoto, Korogwe and Muheza and in the North-western zone in Bukoba.[15]These areas are very essential for the production and consumption of tea. As already hinted above, in Rungwe District tea was introduced in 1904 by the Germans, the first trees having been planted at Kyimbila Mission as a research station.[16] From 1904 up to post-independence tea continued to be grown in Rungwe District and people considered it as their main cash crop.


The study employed historical research design, qualitative and quantitative approach. Data came from diverse sources which are secondary and primary sources. Secondary sources included; books, journal, articles, theses and dissertation form the university of Tanzania repository. Primary sources were consulted from the national archives of Tanzania which includes; District note books, letters, tour reports, Native reports and annual reports from the ministry of Agriculture oral interviews were conducted to the people who were linked to the topic. The collected data analyzed by explaining the theme based on research objective.


The Impacts of Tea production during colonial period, 1910 -1960.

The introduction of money and tax by the Germany Government transformed the people of Rungwe from food-crop producers to cash-crop producers from 1910 – 1960

This collaboration between the local people and colonial rule transformed the mode of life of indigenous people of Rungwe who now became producers of raw materials and buyers of manufactured goods from abroad.[17] The situation has its impact until now that Rungwe people became the producers of tea production as cash crop. This cash crop has led to the transformation of government, economic development and improvement as well as individual development of people.

In 1918, during the First World War, there was the transition from the German rule to British rule; this was the period when Germany lost her colonies, including German East Africa. Since the winner of the war, the British, took over the control of German East Africa and named it Tanganyika. During the war, Belgium and Britain collaborated to fight against Germans. After winning the war, the League of Nations decided to give Great Britain the chance to rule Tanganyika in 1919; this was actually preparation towards independence. This made Tanganyika become a mandate territory of the British under the League of Nations.[18] This is the time when the British introduced new tea plantations in Msekela and Chivanje and opened factories industries in the respective areas in 1920s. Some local people were employed as cheap labors in these factories. Some local people were employed as cheap labors in these factories and this contributed to their way of living because they were able to buy asset, sent their children to school, build houses and contributed taxes to the government.

In 1929, as the effect of the Great Economic Depression, the price of tea dropped in Rungwe, also other parts of the world suffered the same effect. This situation made Britain who was then a major producer of tea to suffer in her economy.[19]After the Great Depression in 1933 the British started to combat the effect of the situation and its result was the fall of prices, the British administration introduced campaign measures to grow more cash crops after the Great. This aimed at increasing the production of tea as a cash crop in her colonial territory. This resulted to opening of large plantation and estate for the tea production. The Great Depression made an impact in Rungwe District because the indigenous people started cultivating other types of crops other than relying on tea which had dropped value on the international market

In 1945 during the Second World War, the demand of tea increased, because the British wanted to recover their economy that dwindled during the war. The agriculture sector was to be the first in the strategies, in order to increase tea production in Rungwe District by establishing a Tea Research Institute, which was to help to discover important areas and type of tea to be introduced in specific areas. As result of research carried out, in 1950s, the production of tea started in various areas including Mufindi, Usambara, and Tukuyu. The production reached about 450 tones in Tukuyu.[20]The British archived the goals for investing more in tea production for the recovery of her economy.

In 1961, Tanganyika attained her independence, the government of Tanganyika put some efforts in order to improve cash crops production including tea grown in Rungwe and other areas. As it is noted, before independence local people were not allowed to grow tea, thus, few years later in 1963, small farmers were permitted to grow tea in different places, including Rungwe, under Tanzania Tea Authority (TTA).[21]After the nationalization of the major means of production during Arusha Declaration in1967 under the leadership of Mwalimu J.K. Nyerere, the government of Tanzania formed Tea Authority in 1968 aimed at managing the planting and processing of tea,  principally in the small holder sector.[22] This facilitated to build the stability in this tea production sector than previously.

The economic crisis of 1970s and 1980s, led to the shortage of funds which resulted into the decline of cash crops, including tea and coffee production in Rungwe. Consequently, the government of Tanzania had to work hard in order to rescue the problem in Agricultural Sector.[23]The government introduced the Cooperative Unions in order to enable the farmers to find the ways to overcome their challenges at their local level, such as the introduction of Rungwe Native Cooperative Union, thus, reduced the marketing costs and improved general efficiency of the distribution system.[24]

Therefore, it became the point of concern to various researchers to find out the effect of tea production to people of Rungwe, also to know how it helped to improve the life of indigenous people as well as government.  It has been a cash crop for the people of Rungwe for all this time, yet their condition of life has not so much improved; it has always remained a mark-time issue. This became a point of concern for the researcher who wanted to know what could be the reasons and what could be done, so that tea becomes profitable and be used to improve the livelihoods of the people of Rungwe District.

Tea Production in Post Independent State 1960s – 1980s

The presence of tea crop at Rungwe District, we cannot deny its proper impacts to the lives of people in Rungwe District especially after the independence. The presence of tea helped in many multidimensional ways the smallholder farmers in Rungwe District. More significantly it helped them to send their children to schools, since some parents though did not grow tea could work as laborers in tea farms.[25]In order to get money for uniform, school fees and other requirement the parents were to become labors in tea plantation.

The participation of the smallholders in tea production transformed their life standards, since it helped them to build good houses and to get the required basic needs, due to the income of smallholder tea farms got byparticipating in tea production led to growth of some towns like Katumba and Ushirika. As the result in 1960’s and 1980’s there was good number of the enrolled tea farmers, all were prepared to get involved in tea growing system to increase tea production. There was real need to have proper education as our parents in past time” one farmer retorted, since there was no recruitment of tea farmers, every smallholder was just taking care of his/her own farm according to the education that he or she inherited from the parents.[26]

Thepresence of Ujamaa villages led to necessity of having Ujamaa farms, since the formation of the smallholder’s farmers has taken place, the smallholder tea farmers were motivated so as to have communal tea farms. The Ujamaa tea farms were established and become the communal property. This was to reduce the private ownership that led to selfishness than cooperation in the society.  It was not easy to change the mindset of people, to concentrate in their own farms and stop depending only to be the laborers in the organizational tea farms. Hence, even the communal farms established during this period were proving to be a failure. The farmers abandoned the farms and went to be employed, and this led to the low production.

Tea Production in 1990s to 2010s

In 1990s fertilizer applications were reduced to an average of 13% to stop financial losses. This helped one not to depend on it in order to grow and take care for his/her farms. Due to their low income the smallholders of tea production were not able even to buy fertilizers and agrochemicals for their own farms. In 1990s health services in Rungwe were not yet enough since in villages where smallholders of tea growers were found, there were poor health services, and this led to loss of man power when one was sick.[27] They were required to travel from remote areas to town. Still roads were poor and impassable by car that could help them to reach health centers to Tukuyu town.

Some tea farms the ones concerned decided to leave a portion since there is no income to buy fertilizers as well as agrochemicals for his farm, hence lowering the production. The tea farms were abandoned in large extent historically around 1990’s to 2000’s due to the challenge of price in the world market. People decided not to involve themselves in tea production since there was no constant price.[28] In the interview, smallholders’ tea growers pointed out that, the tea in the world market was difficult to hope for good price that could enable them to improve their life.

In 1997 the privatization policy was introduced, this was counteracting the failure of nationalization; henceforth the privatization had the impacts towards tea producers in Rungwe District. One of the impact, it reduced the burden of the government upon running tea farms and factory, since the people was to involve fully themselves in tea production. Consequently, it became easy for the government to deal with other projects like improvement of the Road from Busekelo to Tukuyu in 1998, establishment of health centers in villages of Rungwe District like Masoko, Masuku, Kapugi dispensary, Itete health center to mention but a few.

Another one was the high cost of power this was especially for the investors in their factories, that the factories involved themselves in tea processing and since needed high power of electricity to operate especially in 1998. In colonial period the drying of tea leaves was consuming large amount of fire wood though nowadays there is use of electricity. From 2000’s the cost of electricity became high compared to the profit that the investors got after sending the processed tea to markets. In 2001 due to high cost of power to operate the machine, some factories were closed in order to avoid losing their profit.[29]  The government should consider the factories in terms of charging them less cost of electricity. This will attract most of people to invest more in tea processing factories.

In 2001 the Agricultural Sector Development strategy (ASDS), facilitated much to support the access credit to smallholders through the association and cooperation was formed. This helped them also to improve their lives and increase the quality of tea leaves produced. In 2006 the government launched the Agricultural Sector Development Program (ASDP) to help in agriculture. Both ASDS and ASDP were employed in Rungwe District the smallholders were called to form one strong unity among them, so that it become easy for the government to help and empower them. The smallholders from all villages of Rungwe District came together to form cooperative unity.[30] This assisted much to improve the life standard of people.

The increase in sharing of technologies among the farmers and owners of factories happened during the privatization period. The smallholders of Katumba in 1999 to 2002 managed to produce tea leaves of high quality compared to those of Busokelo and Tukuyu tea estates.[31] This was the result of competition among the tea growers in Rungwe District and other places of Tanzania.

The two companies such as RSTGA and TATEPA were joined in The Wakulima Tea Company that offered input credit to all smallholders’ tea growers. Every year WATICO bought and sold fertilizers and other agricultural inputs and distributed them at a cheaper price than any company to smallholders. The price of agriculture inputs obtained was subsidized by RSTGA and WATCO.[32] That is why the price of fertilizers and other agricultural inputs bought by small holders in Rungwe District was much more affordable than the other agricultural inputs elsewhere in Tanzania (WATCO) to Wakulima tea in Rungwe. .

Better responsibility of private sector in the Tea Industry. The tea industry in Rungwe District employed various changes so that to improve the productivity and the production of high quality tea crops. The policy of ASDS and ASDP targeted to increase the production of tea for small farmers through the expansion of the area for the production of tea for small farmers and the privatization of tea processing factories that were owned by the Tanzania Tea Authority (TTA).[33] The policy demanded the ending of TTA and the founding of two agencies to deal with the tea industry under the Tea Act number 3 of 1997.

The two organizations established were the Tanzania Tea Board (TBT) and the Tanzania Small holder Tea Farmers Development Agency (TSHTDA). To ensure the development of tea production among the smallholder growers was the role of TSHTDA while TBT were given regulatory and supervisory role overall tea industry operations country wide; thus, even to Rungwe District. The performance of the Tea Act No. 3 of 1997 to enforce the Agricultural Policy of 1997 brought changes on smallholder tea industry in Rungwe District.

Smallholders formed organization known as Rungwe Tea Smallholders Growers Association on (RSTGA) in 1998 in Response to the presidential Parastatal Sector Commission (CDC) to run private sector tea factories at Mwakaleli and Katumba.[34] This helped much to increase production and to improve the life standard of smallholders in Rungwe District.

In 1998 WATCO was established from CDC and RSTGA to run the factories. This started in Rungwe areas from January 2000.Through ASDPs and ASDP by formulation of District Agricultural Development Plans (DADPs) and putting into actions to attract private sector in economic growth and services supply to the community, trade, liberalization, and non-government, Rungwe District played important role in the implementation of the Agricultural policy of 1997 involvement in production and reforms in supplying social services to the people.[35]

Rungwe District allowed Private tea sector companies to purchase green leaves from smallholders to promote the efficient and effective supply of agricultural inputs and credit, private investors increased the role of the private sector in smallholder’s tea industrythrough smallholder’s tea growers entering into a contract.

The government also in 1998 through the ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives entrusted the running the factories to RSTGA under the supervision of Tanzania Smallholders Tea Development Agency (TSHTDA). Actually this year factories were transferred to RSTGA in partnership with CDC. Separate company known as Caspian Ltd signed a contract with WATCO, a joint company between RSTGA and CDC (now TATEPA as a joint venture investor) to transport green tea leaves from smallholders at collection centers to the processing factories between 1997 and 2000. In 2004,[36]thus the production of tea in Rungwe District increased because Tanzania Tea Authority became responsible in fulfilling its duty properly, together with dealing with the smallholders.

Provision of smallholders to participate in decision making: Smallholders had a voice in planning and implementation of development program for the smallholder tea industry, they tried to implement the agricultural policy which encouraged joint decision making. At the District level, smallholders participated in deciding the destiny of tea industry through their association known as RSTGA. In 2008 members of RSTGA were 15,000 were organized into nine schemes. Each scheme consisted of 10 or more villages out of 118 villages who were cultivating tea under smallholders’ groups. The nine schemes of RSTGA were, Mwakaleli, Nditu/Suma, Masebe, Lupata, /Itete, Manow/ Lwangwa and Kapugi. Each RSTGA had its head.[37] The board was leading the association’s day to day business.

In August 3, 2009, the policy of Kilimo Kwanza was introduced by JakayaMrishoKikwete the President of Tanzania, as result of this policy the price of tea increased in world market and many people participated in tea production especially the inhabitant of Rungwe District. Thus the improvement of houses of most of smallholders of tea production; one smallholder argues that “from 2009 to 2010 the towns of Kiwira, Katumba and Kyimo there were rapid increase of modern houses as result of the involvement in tea production.[38] The government also repaired the building of the schools and health centers like Tukuyu Secondary school, Kyimbila primary school and Buliaga Primary school.

Tea Production from 2011 to 2020’s

Low prices for green leaves compared to the cost of production. In 2011 the government failed to arrange the good price according to the nature of the crop itself, the crop was guided by both private and public sectors. It was the role of Tanzania Tea Authority (TTA) to arrange the price of tea leaves.[39] Due to the presence of Market liberalization, the factories were to produce very high quality to compete with other factories to raise the price of tea in Rungwe District, but it became vice versa.

In 2011 through the unit of smallholders of tea growers of Rungwe and Busokelo the smallholder’s tea farmers were able to receive good health services. The RBTC-JE constructed and repaired hospitals; including; Kapugi, Itete, Katumba 1 and Katumba 2, etc. In these recent days the member of RBTC-JE from 2015 benefits many things including health services as in 2016 the RBTC- JE helped the building of hospitals in four villages around Rungwe and Busokelo.[40] This helped the small holders of tea production to obtain good health services in Rungwe District.

Additionally, tea production in Rungwe District improved of Transport and Communication in most of tea estates was that tea growers were not only using their roads direct to the areas of production, these roads and small pedestrian ways were also for all people. In addition, there was improvement of roads that spread to the farms and villages. “We accepted the challenges we got in tea production like low price and other challenges, but still it was our duty to make sure there was good transport and communication around our villages as for example in communication, they installed Chai FM Radio for different news concerning tea and society as well.[41] These helped the smallholder farmers to get information in right time.

Just like any other strategic crops, tea is strategic crop that is cultivated primarily for trade. Any crop grown for certain purposes had impact to those who engaged in its production. It is to be understood that tea as a strategic crop generates foreign currency to boost the growth of economy in Tanzania. It is good to know the challenges that face tea production to both smallholder’s tea growers as well as companies that deal with tea production, also to suggest some possible solution followed by both smallholders’ tea growers, tea companies and government.  According to information from RBTC in 2020 tea contributed about US$ 60 million,[42]  therefore it gave the chance to research the challenges in order to increase the production and national income.

In 2015 to 2020s, RBTC-JE and WATCO had to educate people about the solution for changing the tea market in Rungwe and Busokelo especially in the World market through improving the quality of tea produced. Since through education people could adopt their situation and become ready to produce tea of good quality that could compete in the world market and get high price comparing to this period. [43] One peasant pointed out that education should be given the first priority to smallholder farmers and even companies who grow tea in Rungwe so as to make them ready to compete worldwide and not to remain backwards without knowing what happens to other tea growers from the rest of the world.

Some Producers have reduced areas under harvest in 2020 to contain increasing losses and some producers have struggled to pay employees and suppliers on time causing labor unrest at times. This is due to the absence of reliable price in the market of tea. Some farmers abandon their farms and decide to go to continue growing other kinds of cash crops that have high amount of price like coffee, avocado and banana, especially at Katumba, Rungwe and areas around Kyimbila and Busokelo. It is now the duty of the RBTC-JE to find the market with high price of tea, and to make sure that there is high quality of tea product, which could compete with other companies which produce tea.[44] They negatively affect future growth potential and will cause even further industry stagnation in the longer term.


The study has revealed that tea production which was started by Germans and British imperialist was a blessing in Rungwe District. Tea production was like a torture and torment to the indigenous Africans when it started because of human labor which they were engaged in. The study has shown that the involvement of Africans in tea production made them acquire skills of agriculture which made them self-reliant and improved the standards of living. The imperialist were able to construct infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, factories, industries and government offices in Rungwe District. These facilities improved the standard of living for the local people

The introduction of tea in Rungwe by the Germans and continued by the British had a great impact towards the economic development of the District. The economic status of Rungwe today had been contributed much by tea production; the life standard people of Rungwe in many cases depend on the presence of tea and other food crops like banana. The presences of workers from various places who work in tea plantation have made Rungwe District to be known even beyond the borders of the District.



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  4. TNA, The Establishment of Colonial Agricultural Service, 1928-1935, in Tanganyika
  5. TNA, Rungwe District Book 1, A History of Rungwe District from 1900 to, 1914
  6. TNA, The History of Rungwe District book 1: Early History of Rungwe District, ( Langernburg   1890s- 1914
  7. TNA, Rungwe District Book 1, Tea Board of Tanzania, the History of Tea Tanzania
  8. TNA, Rungwe District Book1: A History of Rungwe District after British Occupation up to formation of province in, 1926
  9. TNA, Mbeya, (Iringa and Southern Highlands Provinces) Provincial Book,Vol.1


  1. Kapinga Osmund, M. Capitalism and the Disintegration of pre capitalist Socio Formation: The Case of Cash Crop Production in the Matengo Highland, 1885-1960, A Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in History of University of Dar es Salaam, 1993
  2. Joseph, F. An Economic History of Rungwe District 1890/1962.Some aspect of Social and Economic changes among the Nyakyusa, A Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in History of University of Dar es salaam, 1975
  3. Mwakilambo Reginald, A History of Tea production in Rungwe District from the 1930 to 2010, A Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in History of Dar es Salaam, 2014
  4. Niranjan Niraj and Christopher Wickremasnghe, “Study of Plantation Operational Aspects in Relation to operational Workforce,” Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Sikkim Municipal University, India, 2008


  1. Interview with Adamsons Mwamposya, 60 Years old, Manager Tea Estate at Katumba, interviewed on, 21thSeptember, 2021 at Katumba Tea Factory.
  2. Interview with Mohamed Salimu, 45 Years old, Tea worker of Factory in Katumba,
  3. Interviewed on, 28th September, 2021Kipoke village.
  4. Interview, with Mwasanje George, 42 Years old chair of smallholders in Rungwe District interviewed on, 29th September, 2021 Makandana Mission.
  5. Interview with Lusekelo Mwalisu, 75 Years old, Tea retire estates worker and small tea farmer at Mpuguso village, interviewed on, 22september, 2021 Ushirika Village.
  6. Interview with Jafaly Sarehe, 38 Years old, workers of Factory at Katumba, interviewed on 28thSeptember, 2021at Katumba Tea Factory.
  7. Interview with Gwandumi Mwakajoka, 55 Years old, Smallholders Tea Farmers Ilima, interviewed on, 18thSeptember, 2021 at Ilima Village.
  8. Interview with Mwasaka Mwakipesile, 82 Years old, retired tea estate worker and small tea farmer at Katumba, interviewed on,23th September, 2021 Katumba Tea Estate.


[1]Juhani Koponen, Development for Exploitation, German Colonial Policies in Mainland Tanzania 1884-1914, (Cambridge: Cambridge Universality Press, 1995), pp. 87-89

[2]Andrew Coulson, Tanzania Political Economy, (United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 1982) pp. 31-32

[3]Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Tanzania: Dar es Salaam House Publisher,1972), pp.33-34

[4]TNA, Rungwe District Book 1, Early History of the Rungwe District (Bezirks Langernburg), up to the year, 1914

[5] Rungwe District social-Economic Profile Tanzania Publisher The Planning Commission Dar es salaam and Mbeya. 1997 (p.1)

[6] Rungwe District Council  Accessed in 29/08/2021

[7] Tanzania National Achieves, Rungwe District Book 1, A History of the Nyakyusa Tribal. Interview with Mwakapaliala 21.09.2021

[8] Joseph F. Mbwiliza, An Economic History of Rungwe District 1890s / 1962.Same Aspect of Social land and Economic changes among the Nyakyusa M. A.(History )Dissertation University of Dar es salaam 1975 ) p.4

[9]Dahms, H. F, The Vitality of Critical Theory: Current Perspectives in Social Theory Vol. 28, USA, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2011, p. xii.

[10]Gennady A.  Kozlov (ed.), Political Economy of Capitalism, Moscow, Progressive Publishers, 1977), p.11.

[11] Howard M.C. & King, J. E, The Political Economy of Marx (2nd Ed), United Kingdom, Longman Group UK Limited, 1975), p.5.

[12]Niranjan Christopher W.  A study of Tea Plantation Aspects in Relation to operational Workforce, Masters of Business Administration (MBA) project Report, Sikkim Man pal University, India ,2008), p.7-8

[13]“The United National conference on Trade and development, (New York: Geneva 2016), p.8

[14]Allison M. Locont and Emmanuel F.Simbua, “Organizing Smallholder Production for Sustainability: Lessons Learned from Fair-trade Certification in the Tea Industry,” (Dar es salaam: Tea research Institute of Tanzania, 2010), p. 455

[15]Joseph Tarmo Nagu, The Development of Smallholder Tea Production in Tanzania: An Economic Analysis of Factors Influence Green Leaf Tae Output,1998), p. 69

[16]M.J. Gonza. P. Moshi, International Labour: Organization, Child Working in Commercial Agricultural Tea: A Rapid Assessment. January, Geneva, 2002), p.15

[17]Kelvin Shillington, History of Africa, (New York: St Martin press), pp. 314-315

[18]JumaKhamisJuma, Welfare Society (1945-1968, (Tanzania: 11UM Published by Press, 2012),p.2

[19]Osmund M. Kapinga, “Capitalism and the Disintegration of pre capitalist Social Formation: The Case of Cash Crop Production in the Matengo Highland, 1885-1960,” (MA. Dissertation, University of Dar es salaam, 1993), p.86

[20]Carr, M. K. V., Ndamugoba, D.M. Burges, P. J and Myinga, G.R, An overview of tea research in Tanzania-with special reference to the southern Highlands of Tanzania Uyole Agricultural Center, Mbeya Tanzania, 1992). pp.2-3

[21]John Baffes, Tanzania’s Tea Sector: Constraints and challenges, Washington, DC: The World Bank, 2003

[22]Julius K. Nyerere, The Arusha Declaration, (Dar es Salaam: (MkukinaNyota Publishers, 1967), p.16

[23]Andrew Coulson, Aid and Economic Performance in Tanzania, (London: university press of oxford, 1987), pp.119-120

[24] Ibid

[25]Luning, H. A & Venema, L., An Evolution of the Agricultural Extension Service, Rungwe District Research  Project, Africa,  (Netherlands,:  Studies trum Leydern, 1969), p.37

[25]Kriesel, H. Agricultural   Marketing in Tanzania, USAID, Dar es Salam and Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University, 1970), p. 77

[26]Kaniki, M…H.Y, op. cit. p.88

[27]Maliyamkono,T.L, et al, The Challenge for Tanzanians Economy, (Tanzania: Dar es Salaam Publishing House, 1964), p.11

[28] Interview with Adamson Mwaipaya, 52 Years old, Smallholder Tea Farmer Masukulu, interviewed on. 28thSeptember, 2021

[29] Interview with Mohamed Salimu, 45 Years old, Tea   worker of Factory in Katumba, interviewed on, 28th September, 2021 Kipoke village

[30]Mbogoi, J. A, Tanzania Smallholder Tea Development Agency: (Annual Report for, 1999/200, Tukuyu ,( WATC), 2000,) p.92

[31] Ibid. p. 100

[32]Wakalawa Maendeleoya Wakulimawadogowa Chai Tanzania, op cit. p.17

[33] United Republic of Tanzania, Agricultural Sector Development Strategy, (Dar es Salaam, Ministry of Agriculture and food Security,2003), pp.15-17

[34] P. Rowland & Mwakalinga, Wakulimawa Chai Rungwe, January 26, (Letter), Held at Tukuyu: RCFA. File No. RT/ MBR/53/3/15, 2009), P.1

[35] Ibid

[36] Tanganyika African National Union, The Arusha Declaration and TANU, policy and Socialism and Self Reliance .1967), P 20-22

[37]Rungwe Cooperative Society to Msajiliwavyamavya Ushirika,(30 November, 2009),R.CF.A

[38] Tanzania Tea Parkers, (Ltd),op cit.p.24

[39] Interview, with Mwasanje George, 42 Years old chair of smallholders in Rungwe District interviewed on,  29th September, 2021 Makandana Mission.

[40]Rungwe District council & Tanzania Smallholders Tea Development Agency

[41] Interview with Mohamed Sarehe, 38 Years old, workers of Factory at Katumba, interviewed on 28th September, 2021 at Katumba Tea Factory.

[42]Marketing Development Bureau op. cit.  p.31

[43] Interview with Lusekelo Mwalisu, 75 Years old, Tea retire estates worker and small tea farmer at Mpuguso village, interviewed on, 22september, 2021 Ushirika Village.


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