Rwanda's tea export receipts increased to $78.1 million (about Rwf67.2 billion) during the first 11 months of 2017, up from nearly $57.4 million (Rwf49.4 billion) during same period in 2016, the National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB) report indicates. This indicates an increase of 36.16 per cent, which represents about $20.7 million growth in earnings, according to the report for November 2017.
The export body attributed the increase in export revenue to the high volume of tea sold during the period as well as a rise in global prices. Global tea prices averaged $3.21 per kilogramme during the reporting period compared to $2.56 per kilo in 2016.
The country’s tea is marketed under the Rwanda National Tea brand, which was unveiled last year by NAEB as part of efforts aimed at boosting its competitiveness on the local and global markets.
Rwanda’s total green leaf production increased to 105.1 million kilogrammes during the period under review, up from more than 98.8 million kilogrammes produced in 2016. This represents an increase of 6.43 per cent year-on-year.
However, tea output decreased to 12.5 million kilogrammes in November 2017 on a monthly basis, down from over 13.4 million kilogrammes produced same period the previous year.
NAEB targets $94.9 million from tea exports per annum by end of this year, up from $65.7 million in 2013.
The agro-export body plans to distribute 43 million tea seedlings by the end of this year. So far, more than 13.6 million tea seedlings have been distributed to farmers across the country and planted.