Wood Foundation, Making Markets Work for the Poor
Wood Foundation, Making Markets Work for the Poor
Wood Foundation, Making Markets Work for the Poor
Wood Foundation, Making Markets Work for the Poor
Wood Foundation, Making Markets Work for the Poor
Wood Foundation, Making Markets Work for the Poor

The Wood Foundation Africa (TWFA), in conjunction with its funding partners, is now considered the leading philanthropist in the tea industry in East Africa. Throughout Tanzania, we now work with 28,000 smallholder tea farmers and are achieving systemic and sustainable change through our Chai and Njombe programmes.


Launched in 2009 with joint funding from the Gatsby Foundation ‘Chai – Kwa Maendeleo ya Tanzania” (Tea – for the development of Tanzania) was the first TWF programme in East Africa.

Chai currently comprises a $17 million industry program in Tanzania that initially covered interventions to map tea growing areas, improve access to inputs and end markets.  It has since expanded to encompass capacity building programmes together with new private sector partnerships to develop and implement a tea processing facility.


In 2014 Chai Project, in partnership with Igominyi Tea Outgrowers Association (ITOA) and Unilever, launched the Njombe Project in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania which will plant out a 1,000 hectare nucleus estate and establish a 2-3 line tea processing factory.

As part of this project the Njombe Outgrowers Service Company (NOSC) has been formed to provide tea planting services, patient capital, agronomical and production logistics to smallholder farmers on a cost recovery basis.  Unilever is establishing the factory and core estate, and will provide a premium market for the smallholder tea farmers.

Greatly improve the yields and quality of tea are expected to be delivered to the factory through the Service Company supporting ITOA farmers to plant out 1,765 hectares of greenfield tea and rehabilitate 735 hectares of brownfield tea.

To date 195 hectares of tea have been planted out and NOSC has signed up more than 600 smallholder tea farmers organised in 26 villages across 5 tea catchment areas with 11 key NOSC staff providing support.

Chai programme in numbers

£17 million

Total investment in project, jointly funded by TWFA, Gatsby and DFID.

19,000 smallholders

The number of smallholder tea farmers supported through Chai interventions.

Njombe programme in numbers

13 million seedlings

The number of tea seedlings planted, making it the largest tea nursery in Africa.

4,000 farmers

The number of farmers who will benefit from NOSC interventions.