Rwanda fetched more than $23 million from tea exports in the first quarter of the year, which is an increase from $18.9 million recorded over the same period in 2016, a report by the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) indicates.
The export body attributes the increase to the good prices during the first three months of 2017 that averaged $3.02 per kilogramme.
NAEB officials said revenues realised in the first quarter surpassed projections.
The country exported tea worth $6.6 million in March, according to the report.
Total production of “made tea” was over 2.4 million kilogrammes or a 10.7 per cent drop compared to 2.69 million kilogrammes produced during the same period last year.
Total green leaf production amounted to 10.4 million kilogrammes, a decrease of 11.7 per cent compared to 11.79 million kilos registered the same period in 2016.
On a quarterly basis, total production of green leaf for the first quarter was 30.38 million kilos compared to 34.33 million kilogrammes produced over the same period in 2016.
The decline was attributed to the prolonged dry season that was experienced from July to August and in the month December 2016.
The UK, Pakistan, Egypt, Yemen and Somalia are some of Rwanda’s tea buyers.
Rwanda’s total export revenue was $558.8 million last year.
To further enhance quality, NAEB is implementing a new tea leaf handling model along the value chain to make the sector more competitive.
The agricultural exports agency is also seeking new markets for Rwanda’s tea to increase exports.