RSTGA has been fair trade registered since 2002. RSTGA has setup a subsidiary to manage these funds. This subsidiary is the Rungwe Fair Trade Fund (RFTF). Until 2010, RFTF had funded over 300 projects to the tune of T.Shs 1.4 Billion.
This funding has been in the areas of Health, Primary & Secondary schools, Accessibility to farmers' inputs, Water, HIV/AIDS, etc.
AREAS WHERE RSTGA COULD BE ASSISTED
RSTGA wants to be an economic vehicle for poverty eradication. We are of the considered opinion that perhaps we may be assisted in one way or the other in the following areas:
- ESTABLISHMENT OF A REVOLVING FUND FOR AGRICULTURAL INPUTS
We believe with a revolving fund in place, farmers will be able to acquire inputs at the lowest price possible and may be able apply the fertilizer for two seasons. These seasons are ideally March/April and November/December every year. By doing so, RSTGA farmers will be enabled to maximize crop yield. And this will automatically increase the income of the farmers at the household levels.
RSTGA currently has a strong partner in the African Development Foundation (ADF). The ADF has provided RSTGA with a loan of T.Shs 198.0m. Next to this, ADF and RSTGA have started a capacity-building program.
The ADF project has enabled RSTGA to put in place about 50% of the revolving fund needed to supply fertilizer on credit to all RSTGA farmers. RSTGA is still looking for a partner to establish the remainder of the revolving fund.
- ESTABLISHMENT OF RSTAG SACCO.
The members through the Annual General Meeting held on 29th January 2008 resolved that the RSTGA SACCO should be established. The RSTGA SACCO will have its Head Office in Tukuyu Town and Branches in all Sub-schemes. We believe that the Branches will easy payments of Green Leaf Tea sold to the Factory and also reduce the risk of robberies. Also, the advantages of having such an institution are enormous since farmers will be able to borrow money from the SACCO by hypothecating their crops production and investments in the TRUST. We believe that with such institution in place the farmers and Rungwe business community in general will be able to access SACCOs facilities. This would accelerate economic development of Rungwe District. We take this opportunity to your appeal to contact investors who may wish to collaborate with the RSTGA to get this institution established and run smoothly.
- CAPACITY BUILDING
In order to enable the RSTGA to fulfill its obligations, we realize that capacity building has to be undertaken. Capacity building may cover the following areas:-
- Training of Staff/Committee members and Farmers (members of RSTGA)
- Data Management
- Financial Accounting
- Basic Book keeping/Record keeping
- Association Skills
- Better Farming methods and Harvesting
- Environment Conservation (as stipulated in “GENERIC FAIRTRADE STANDARDS” issued by FLO-Cert GmbH)
Seminars also may be another area whereby the sub committee, Executive Committee and farmers at large may be trained in various skills.
- Country Tours
Country Tours may also be conducted in order to enable members of the Executive Committee and Branch Tea Committees, to know what is going on in other Countries, which are growing tea like Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia, India and Rwanda
- FEEDER ROADS.
We have feeder Roads, which connects the growers with the factory, which is located at Katumba. Such feeder roads are not passable throughout the year. It becomes difficult during rainy seasons to haul green leaf from various Tea selling centers, which are located in different villages to the factory. We wish to appeal through you to get us in contact with potential partners that may be willing to provide us with equipments for repair of such roads in order to make them passable throughout the year.
An alternative would be to establish a revolving fund specifically for feeder roads. This fund would be used for constant repairs.
- FARMERS’ NEWS LETTERS
It has been our aspiration to establish the farmers’ newsletters in order to keep the farmers informed of what is happening in the tea Industry. However, we have been unable to launch such newsletter due to financial constrains.