Kawambwa Tea Company scouts for K6 million for full operations
Kawambwa, Dec 21/14, ZANIS-——-The Kawambwa Tea Company (KTC) of Luapula Province is scouting for K6 million to revamp operations at the firm.
KTC General Manager, John Bunda, revealed the development in Kawambwa on when Japanese Ambassador to Zambia, Kiyoshi Koinuma visited the tea company.
Mr Bunda said KTC is facing a lot of challenges to meet full production, hence the scouting of the K6 million and appealed to Ambassador Koinuma for financial support.
He said the Zimbabwean investor abandoned the company carrying with him most of the machinery, making it difficult for KTC to achieve the goals.
Mr Bunda state that workers at KTC has for the last eleven months operating without the Zimbabwean investor but the management has maintained 185 permanent workers and employed 344 casual workers.
Mr Bunda also said lack of operational capital was attributing to address payments of salaries and wages.
He added that the non-payment of salaries and wages is also resulting into low labour turn out and failure to achieve the targets.
The General Manager noted that due to lack of operational capital the company has failed to prune the remaining 153 hectares of land, pay creditors and retirees and buy fertilizers, herbicides and protective clothing.
Mr Bunda further said despite the various challenges the Tea Company has been facing, it has managed to prune 270 hectares tea fields out of the total area of 423 hectares and cut 3000 cubic meters of firewood used for drying tea.
Mr Bunda pointed out that it is for the above reasons that he was appealing to the Japanese Ambassador to Zambia to come in and help solve the problems.
However, Mr Bunda said the future of KTC is still healthy, bright and able to create more than 800 jobs, compete at both local international markets.
However, Mr Bunda revealed that KTC expects to produce one million kilogrammes of tea next year if it is helped with the capital.
He told Ambassador Koinuma that KTC’s challenges require urgent attention for the survival of company, employees and the surrounding communities.
The Japanese Ambassador to Zambia, who was accompanied by District Commissioner, Ivo Mpasa, also visited the pump station, Western and Eastern divisions of tea fields and part of the factory.