Tea Association of Malawi (Taml), a representative body of tea estates, last Wednesday gave 50 kilogrammes (kg) of tea to members of Parliament (MPs) currently sitting in Lilongwe.
The donation was received by the chairperson of Agriculture Committee of Parliament, Felix Jumbe, who is Salima Central MP.
Taml chief executive officer Clement Thindwa, in an interview on Friday, said the industry will be providing tea to the legislators “as long as Parliament is in session”.
“The donation is a prelude to Malawi Tea Week that commences this August/September in a bid to raise the current meagre domestic tea consumption staggering at a mere two percent utmost of the country’s average annual production of 46 000 metric tonnes,” he said.
Thindwa said this skewed consumption is worrisome as the industry becomes over exposed to external consumption factors, which are largely uncontrollable but volatile and render business management difficult.
On his part, Jumbe thanked Taml for the gesture.
The tea industry is only second to tobacco in terms of generation of foreign exchange for Malawi and employs over 60 000 people and is also the largest formal labour employer after government.
Taml figures show that over 1.5 million people rely on the tea industry for their livelihood through knock-on and ripple effects.