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November 28, 2010

Dry season sees drop in Rwandan tea output

by Alex Ngarambe

Tea production and sales have suffered to a low level compared to the earlier projection in the last three months due to the dry season.

According to Anthony Butera, the Managing Director of OCIR-The, the country's tea authority, the dry season in the last three months affected the earlier target in both production and sales hence having a negative impact on the farmers.

The total sales from January to September was 69,463,000 kgs of green leaf, while the made tea was 16,391,000 kgs against the projected 24 million kgs of made tea.

Also in the three months up to October, the production was 11.5 million kgs of green leaf tea against the target of 21 million kgs attributing, with the dip attributed to the huge slump to the drought hence generating $ 11.06 million.

However, Butera said that general prices at Mombasa auctioning market did not fall remaining at an average of $2.6 per kg while the local farmers still earned Rwf96.6 for every kg.

"The drought affects both the farmers and the country's general production because the low production means low revenues for the farmers hence a low income," added Butera.

Rwanda sells her tea mostly the Middle East countries as well as European countries.

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