The United Republic of Tanzania

Tobacco Research Institute of Tanzania (TORITA)


History of TORITA

In the early 1930's, a Veterinary Investigation Center (VIC) was established at Tumbi Center, Tabora. In 1938 the Nyamwezi Crimeries, the VIC owners, left the Tumbi station to the Nyanza Cooperative Union (NCU), which used the station to collect and buy raw tobacco that NCU had dried. In 1954 the Nyanza Cooperative Union sold the Tumbi station to British American Tobacco (BAT), who continued to buy tobacco until 1961.

After the independence of Tanganyika in 1961, the authorities of various crops such as cotton, tobacco, hemp, cashew nuts, coffee etc. were established in order to develop large commercial crops. Thus, the Tumbi center, Tabora came under the ownership of the Tobacco Authority of Tanzania (TAT). Through this mandate, a major project was launched to promote TAT and in the financial year 1971/72, the World Bank provided funding and supervised the construction of the Tumbi Center in two main sections. The first part was the premises for the training of the tobacco masters farm and the second part was for the tobacco study crop. By March 1975, all the buildings were completed and opened by the first term President Hon. Mwl. Julius Kambarage Nyerere, accompanied by the President of the World Bank. In 1977 the Tumbi centre was taken over by the Government where the first part of the college continued to be agricultural training for tobacco extension officers and the second part of the premises to continue tobacco research under the Ministry of agriculture.

In 1980 soon after TARO's establishment (Tanzania Agricultural Research Organization) and TALIRO (Tanzania Livestock Research Organization), research on tobacco crops continued under TARO. In 1989, TARO and TARILO were dissolved, and Agricultural Research became under the Ministry of Agriculture on behalf of the DRD (Directorate of Research and Development), where regional offices were established and became the Tumbi Tobacco Tobacco Research Management Center (National Coordination Center for Tobacco Research). The centre continued to nationally manage the small stations of Standole, Iringa and Mtanila, Chunya, which were used as research substation centres for the tobacco crop until 1995. In 1995, according to the developed world's instructions, they launched the Economic Recovery Program, coordinated by the World Bank. They requested the developing Government to withdraw from primary commercial operations to allow stakeholders to manage such activities. Thus, the ARI Tumbi centre continued to be under the Ministry of Agriculture for research on various crops.

The five-year period (1995-2000) when substantial commercial crop stakeholders established commercial crop development and created research institutes to address agricultural concerns and increase commercial productivity for farmers. Thus TACRI Coffee Research Institute was established in 1997, followed by the Tea Crop Research Institute (TRIT) in 1999 and the Tobacco Crops Research Institute (TORITA) was established on 31st October 2000 by the Companies Act (CAP 212) with registration number 40261, not for profit but to provide tobacco research services to farmers in the country. TORITA was founded by stakeholders who are the Tanzania Tobacco Board (TTB), Farmers through Tobacco Co-operative Apex Ltd (APEX), Southern Highlands Tobacco Growers Association (SHTGA), Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and Tobacco Processing Factory (1997) Ltd. These stakeholders successfully drafted and finalized the institutional constitution (Memorandum and Articles of Association of Tobacco Research Institute of Tanzania Ltd). Its headquarters being at ARI-Tumbi within the buildings of the Tobacco Research. TORITA was given a research substation centre in Mtanila, Chunya, to be used for tobacco research.

Since the inception of TORITA, there has been much effort to request the return of tobacco research facilities and buildings used by ARI and MATI Tumbi to TORITA. However, those efforts bore no fruit. Due to the tobacco research institute's growth, on 30.10.2007 TORITA, through a letter of reference and TOR/AGR/34/70 requested to be provided with Farm premises for use by TORITA. On 14.03.2008 through a letter from the Secretary-General of Agriculture with reference number DA 501/616/01 granted permission to TORITA to use the farm office buildings for office use and the ownership of the premises to remain with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, including land used for tobacco research.

TORITA currently has the seventh Board of Directors, which expires on June 30, 2022. Board members are represented by the Ministry of Agriculture, University of Agriculture (SUA), Tobacco Board (TTB), Tobacco Buying Companies and three rotating representatives each after three years from primary tobacco cooperatives. Currently, the Board of Directors is headed by the Chairman from SUA, Prof. Gration M. Rwegasira. TORITA has been working closely with the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture where as of July 2012, all institutional staff were included in the civil service recruitment system and staff salaries paid directly from the Government after the Finance Ministry approved the institutional scheme of service. In 2018, the Government changed the start and end dates of the financial year to 01 July and ended 30 June, respectively, in line with the Government financial year calendar. In the 2018/19 financial year, the institution entered the Government's electronic payment system (GePG), started using Government Mailing System (GMS) and redesigned its website under eGA coordination. In the 2020/21 financial year, TORITA joined the electronic planning and reporting system (PLANREP) and Office of Treasurer Management of Board Information System (OTRMIS)