Rwanda Earns $23 Million from Tea Exports

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The country’s tea industry earned $23 million from tea exports in the first quarter of 2017, an increase from $18.9 million recorded over the same period in 2016.

The National Agriculture export Board (NAEB) attributes the increase to the good prices during the first three months of 2017 that averaged $3.02 per kilogramme.

Issa Nkurunziza, the tea division manager at NAEB said that the total production of “made tea” was over 2.4 million kilogrammes or a 10.7 per cent drop compared to 2.69 million kilogrammes produced during the same period last year. Total green leaf production amounted to 10.4 million kilogrammes, a decrease of 11.7 per cent compared to 11.79 million kilos registered the same period in 2016.

The official said that on a quarterly basis, total production of green leaf for the first quarter was 30.38 million kilos compared to 34.3 million kilogrammes produced over the same period in 2016. To further enhance quality, NAEB is implementing a new tea leaf handling model along the value chain to make the sector more competitive

High demand

Meanwhile, the demand for Rwanda’s tea increased during last week’s Mombasa tea auction. According to the export body more than 136,100 packages were offered and sold compared to 123,784 packages during the same period last year.

Nkrurunziza observed that tea prices averaged about $3.2 per kilogramme, thanks to the “improved quality of tea the country is bringing to the market”.

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