Burundi’s tea export revenues rose 23 percent in January compared to the same period last year, boosted by high sales increased by favourable weather, a tea board official said on Monday.
Tea is the landlocked country’s second largest foreign exchange earner after coffee and employs some 300,000 smallholder farmers in a nation of 8 million people.
The central African country’s state-run tea board (OTB) generated $2.49 million from the export of 927,194 kg versus $2.02 million earned in January 2011 from the sale of 635,143 kg.
The export average price per kg dropped to $2.69 from $3.19 in the previous year due to the high quantity of the tea available on the regional market in January last year.
“The tea sold in January was produced in November and December last year, and during that period the output was better due to a good rainfall,” said OTB’s export official, Joseph Marc Ndahigeze.
“In January 2011, the market was stronger due to a fall in production of Kenyan tea,” said Ndahigeze.
Kenya is the world’s top exporter of black tea.
Landlocked Burundi exports 80 percent of its tea through a regional weekly auction held in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa.