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October 08, 2009

Rwanda tea export revenues up

by Saul Butera

Rwanda’s tea export revenues increased by 6.45 percent in the first half of the financial 2009 (January-June) compared to last year’s first half, officials of the tea authority stated.

According to the statistics, the tea netted $16.5 million (Rwf9.4 billion) up from $15.5 million (Rwf8.8 billion) during the same period last year representing the 6.45 percent increase.

“The increase is attributed to long drought this year that made the production of tea very low, making a constant increase in prices of tea for a long period,” said Anthony Butera, Director General of Ocir-Thé. He added that the tea authority is expecting to continue enjoying good prices since production levels have not fully regained because the rainy season has just started.

Ocir-Thé, is targeting 9,000 hectares of tea plantations by 2012. The agency is also planning to increase tea production by 35,000 metric tonnes by 2012.

At Mombasa tea auction which hosts the sale of tea from the region, Rwandan tea traded at $0.96 higher than the previous week, rising from $2.17 to $3.13.

Officials at Ocir-Thé said the market seems to remain constant. Officials said that there is a low supply and a high demand at the international market. The tea authority says that they predict that the prices will remain at the same range until production increases depending on the weather conditions.

Statistics from the tea body show that for a long period, Gisovu has been offering the best teas from Rwanda on the Mombasa tea auction.

Revenues from tea has risen from $21.4m in 2007 to $28.9m as of last year. Projections show a rise in this financial year.

Tea is one of Rwanda’s leading export revenue earners.

Rwanda Times

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