The New Times (Kigali)

13 January 2014

Rwanda: November Tea Export Revenue Up 72 Percent

Rwanda's tea export revenue rose by more than 72 per cent in November to $4.2m (about Rwf2.9b) from $2.46m in October, the National Agricultural Exports Board (NAEB) has said.

Figures from the exports board also indicate that export volumes went up by 86.9 per cent over the period to 1,752.1 tonnes compared to the 937.2 tonnes shipped out in October.

Jean Damascene Gasarabwe, the head of tea division at NAEB, attributed the increase to the rainy season that led to better yields of the crop.

He added that the upward trend was expected to continue until June this year when the dry season sets in.

Tea export volumes stood at 22,563 tonnes in 2012 from 20,300 tonnes in 2011.

Rwanda's tea has steadily acquired international acclaim and attracted more foreign direct investments, the most recent by Scotland's second-richest man, Sir Ian Wood, who earlier last year announced plans to inject £7.5m in the sector.

Most of the tea (60 per cent) is sold at the Mombasa auction, with a small percentage being bought by individual buyers (37 per cent), while 3 per cent of the tea is sold locally.

It is mainly exported to Pakistan, Sudan, Russia, Egypt, Nigeria, the UK, Ireland, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates.

The sector employs over 50,000 farmers who earn between Rwf123 and Rwf155 per kilo they sell to tea companies.

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