The Ministry of Agriculture, Agnes Kalibata, yesterday announced a 15 percent rise in farm gate prices for tea.
This is the price paid to farmers for every kilogram of green leaf tea they supply to factories.
“Farmers have been investing at a higher cost than the cooperatives; this is why stakeholders had to agree on an evenly balanced price,” Kalibata said.
“This increment is solely in favor of the farmers”.
Kalibata added that, stakeholders in the tea sector established a joint commission a month ago to assess the cost, and their findings ascertained the need for an increment of tea farm gate prices to favor and motivate farmers.
“Initially, a kilogram stood at Rwf 86, after negotiations, stakeholders reached an agreement of putting it at Rwf 96.6,” she said.
She hastened to add that the increment is not going to affect the performance of prices of Rwanda's teas sold through the Mombasa auction market
“This will instead motivate farmers and eventually lead to increased production,” she said.
According to the Minister, last year the country produced 21,000 tonnes of made tea which generated revenues worth about US $49 million.
Rwanda produces one of the best quality teas in the world, but just is the case with coffee, most of it is exported in raw form to a global market that craves its higher quality.
The number of farmers in the country who supply factories are between 40,000 to 60,000.