Karimjee Agriculture Ltd.

Karimjee Jivanjee Estates Ltd was founded in 1939 to look after agricultural interests. The firm consisted of fifteen plantations growing sisal, coffee, coconuts, kapok, rubber, timber and fruits.

However acquisition of estates had commenced in 1921 with the purchase of Derema Coffee Estate in the Usambara Mountains. Derema is the oldest recorded estate in Tanganyika being formed in 1891 by the German East Africa Co. Production on Derema was changed from coffee to tea in 1933 following the damage inflicted by coffee berry disease and the 194o's saw the addition of Monga and Maramba Tea Estates in the Amani Forest.

Sisal estate acquisitions commenced in 1922 but the company's original Mtwara sisal estate was acquired by the British Government in order to create Mtwara township and harbour.

Karimjee Jivanjee Estates reached its peak in the early 1960's with sisal production at 12,500 tons per annum and tea production at 550 tons per annum.

The company was renamed Karimjee Agriculture Ltd in 1991 and today has 25,000 hectares (62,000 Acres) of sisal under cultivation on the following estates:

Tea is still produced in the Usambara Mountains at the Karimi Tea Estates on a gross land area of 4,000 hectares. 900 hectares are under tea and the balance is part of the important Amani Forest ecosystem.

The tea estates are:

During the last two decades sisal and tea production had fallen dramatically due to adverse trends and lack of foreign exchange for reinvestment.

In 1987 the company launched a major plan for the rehabilitation of sisal and tea production and for the diversification into export crops such as cashew nut. Karimjee Agriculture has invested US$8 million in equity and loans since 1992 for this program.

The modernisation of the tea factories using the latest technology and the rehabilitation of the tea fields has already been completed. Tea production in 1994 reached 1,500 tons.

Sisal replanting is targeted at over a 1,000 hectares per annum and the annual target for 1994 was exceeded. Sisal production is estimated to increase from 1,200 tons in 1992 to 8,500 tons by 2004.

Designed by: Jack Smith