Volumes of tea exported from Rwanda in the first 11 months of 2015 increased to 22.7 million kilos, up from 20.7 million kilos during the same period of 2014.
Revenues also increased by 40% to $66.3 million, up from $47.3 million recorded for the same period of 2014.
Rwanda sells its teas at the Mombasa auction and prices for Rwandan teas averaged $2.92 per kilo, a slight increase from the average price of $2.29 a kilo in 2014. In its efforts to improve the quality of green tea, Rwanda’s National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) has been working with tea farmers and tea cooperatives to train them in best agronomic practices and in the handling of freshly plucked leaf.
Issa Nkurunziza, head of the tea division at NAEB, explained that NAEB’s PRICE project has trained selected tea farmers in the handling of green leaf and those farmers will pass on their newly-acquired skills to more than 6,000 tea farmers across the country.
This three-year project is part of the farmer field schools initiative that targets tea growers. NAEB intends to distribute 43 million tea seedlings to farmers by the end of 2017.