Rwanda banks on quality tea to boost export receipts

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Rwanda banks on quality tea to boost export receipts

Rwanda’s Mountain Tea Factory

The country  is looking at  boosting the quality  of  tea to  boost export  receipts  that are  needed  to offset the  widening  trade deficit.

According to Central Bank, trade deficit widened by 10.2 percent in the third quarter of last year despite a 4.9 percent increase in value and 5.4 in volume for exports.

This implies that improving the quality of   tea which is among the leading foreign   exchange earning crop will increase volumes as well as enhance its competiveness in the world market thus raising its value.

Rwanda’s tea has been fetching high value at the   Mombasa Auction, which is the leading tea auction in the region compared to other tea from the region.

The standard will   mean improving the whole value chain mainly   from the harvest handling to the factory processing of the green leaf to help the country achieve the average 7 aggregates of the quality liquorindicator gauge.

The gauge that has a standard of 11 looks at the quality and pricing of the cash crop; which now helps to   categorize tea in the market.

George William Kayonga, the National Agricultural export Board Chief executive Officer is optimistic   that   improving the standard of   tea will help the country increase export receipt from the cash crops that registered a decline in the 11 months of last year.

“Through value addition and product diversification we can be able to increase the   value and volumes of our tea exports,” he said

According to Central bank, tea export fetched $48.2m from 22,202 metric tonsin the third quarter of 2014 compared to the 2014 annual targets of $68.6m.

There is optimism  according to experts that will  constant improvement  in the washing stations and support to  farmers in terms of inputs  is likely   to  boost the   tea sector which needs to  hit  a production  of 41,070.5 metric tons by 2018.

Rwanda   exports around 97.3% of its raw form with 60 percent   sold at the Auction at Mombasa, according to the country export   board, National Agriculture export board-NAEB sector statistics.

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About the author

Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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