This year’s 10 percent bonus amounts to Rwf281 million which rose from Rwf129 million, the previous year.
Rwanda Tea Authority (OCIR-Thé), under its second payment policy has rewarded local tea farmers, who supply the agency, through their cooperatives.
The annual event organized by the tea authorities gives back 10 percent of the total profits to every farmer who supplied the authority with tea.
“This is something we do every year because it motivates the farmers to produce more and the more they supply, the more bonus they receive and it increases their income and welfare,” said Anthony Butera, the Director General of OCIR-Thé.
The practice dubbed, ‘second payment’ aims to reward every farmer who supplies tea to both private cooperatives or directly to OCIR-Thé. For this particular event, six cooperatives were the beneficiaries.
This year’s 10 percent bonus amounts to Rwf281 million, which rose from Rwf129 million the previous year. The increase was attributed to good international market prices and the good work that was done by factories that add value to tea.
Currently, the market prices for tea stand at $2.3 per kilogram the lowest price while the highest is $3.7 per kilogram for the primary grades. For the secondary grades, the lowest and highest prices is $70 cents and $140 cents respectively.
“We help in facilitating the farmers in order for them to increase production through capacity building, providing them with materials such as fertilizers and other equipments and through this, we are optimistic that they will do better than this year in future,” Butare added.
The country’s tea production recently rose by 28 percent in March. The country produced 1.89 million kilograms (4.17 million pounds) of tea in the month, compared with 1.48 million kilograms in February. The country expects production to increase by 23 percent this year to 24.6 million kilograms.
Tea which is one of the country’s traditional foreign exchange earner also fetched $11.5m in the first quarter of 2009 compared to 10.4 million in the same period last year giving it an increase of 10 percent according to Jame Musoni, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN).
Musoni told parliament recently that despite thee global financial crisis tea looks to be resilient in its performance.
The tea authority also recently announced that it will put more emphasis on re-branding of her tea this year with projections to earn at least $54m from the sector this year.