Gurué is located in the vicinity of Mount Namuli , which stands out in the landscape as the second highest mountain in Mozambique , measuring 2,419 meters in altitude. Despite the advance of times and the consequent modernization of activities, a large part of the population still depends on the planting of teas . About seven thousand people have their survival linked to the production of tea.
Tea is not just a consumer product, it is deeply rooted in the culture of several generations. Due to all this exploration time, some producers find themselves immersed in difficulties due to the lack of investment that allows for the renewal of old techniques and planting areas , which would guarantee the maintenance of the activity.
Benefits of Mozambican Tea
Due to the climatic and altitude conditions evident in tea plantations in Mozambique , the herbs that come from there preserve all their properties. One of the main cultivated is the camellia sinensis , which originates the variations: green tea, black tea, white tea and oolong tea . All are directly linked to the oxidation time to obtain each one of them.
Applied to health, each herb variation is responsible for acting to combat an illness. Among the main properties of the plant can be highlighted: astringent, analgesic, anti-asthmatic, antibacterial, antioxidant, digestive, diuretic and stimulant. The tea from this plant can also be used to control diarrhea, reduce caries and toothache.
The tea camellia sinensis also eliminates body fat, commonly used in weight loss process. For those who suffer from digestion problems, tea is a great solution to aid the entire process. This species also regulates cholesterol, dilates the bronchi and helps in cases of flu.
It should be noted that the non-processed herb is the most suitable to treat whatever the problem is , as it preserves most of its beneficial properties.
Care and precautions
Before using any of these herbs, it is best to consult a doctor . Even when it comes to natural ingredients, they can have some health consequences, especially when taking into account the problems already developed by certain patients.
Pregnant women or those in the process of breastfeeding should avoid consuming this herb, precisely because it can have undesirable consequences, whether for the health of the woman or for the health of the baby. Children under six years old should only use some variations of camellia sinensis tea when prescribed by a doctor.
Tea production in Mozambique
For decades, tea culture structured power relations and socioeconomic organization in upper Zambézia, Mozambique. Today, Gurué is still seen as the region’s largest tea producer . Of the approximately 11 production units in operation at the time of Mozambique’s independence in 1975, only three remain. Despite the difficulties, traditional producers still resist the new.
Due to the aging of the plants, with more than 70 years of exploration, production has dropped and the remaining factories operate on a seasonal basis. The president of the Mozambican Tea Producers Association, Almeida Lee, said in an interview with Jornal de Notícias, from Mozambique, that the prospects for marketing tea on the foreign market are not encouraging.
For this reason, producers are wary of continuing to invest in culture, whether due to a reduction in basic income or a drop in exports. Countries like India, Vietnam, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda have been investing heavily in the area. Consequently, the export of the product gained more prominence in the market, which made it difficult for the commercialization of producers stagnant in time to progress.
Additional data on tea production in the region
In 2014, the production of tea in Gurué suffered a reduction in the order of 15% , that is, the company that should produce between 1200 and 1500 tons is recording a loss of production calculated between 100 and 150 tons of processed tea. In the same interview given by the president of the Mozambican Tea Producers Association to Jornal de Notícias, he says that the reduction has strong implications for the operation of tea companies .
Old plantations, lack of irrigation and lack of investment by producing municipalities are the main problems faced. “The city is growing and the citizens end up entering the areas of the producing companies”, amends Almeida Lee.