Tea Exports Will Double
Rwanda exports expected to double.
During the first three months of 2016, Rwanda has more than doubled its tea export receipts from $7.1 million in the first three months of 2015 to $18.8 million. The country exported 6.8 million kilos of tea during the first quarter of this year.
The increase in quantity and volume is due to the new Muganza Kive Tea Factory in Nyaruguru District, Southern Province, and the encouragement given to smallholder farmers by Karongi, Mushubi and Rutsiro tea factories. Investment in the distribution of farm inputs and emphasis on the production of value-added products has also helped to increase performance.
Tea prices have risen in recent months and Rwandan teas have fetched higher prices than Kenyan teas in the Mombasa auctions and did better than seven other countries offering similar teas. This is partly due to the smaller quantities that Rwanda produces.
Increased production could cause a drop in prices in the longer term. However, the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) has plans to increase the production of dry leaf to 3,000 tons per year and to increase export earnings to $94.9 million by 2018.