Tea farmers in Mulindi, Gicumbi District, say they are incurring losses due to limited market access for their produce.
The farmers complained that Mulindi Tea Factory was frustrating them by reneging on a pledge to buy all their harvests.
Farmers, who spoke to The New Times, said that harvested tea currently remains in the farms yet this is the period when they project to maximise on their profits margin.
“We don’t know what is happening to the factory because this is the rainy season when we should be harvesting much more compared to the past dry season,” said one of the farmers.
“Our harvest is now rotting in the farms because the surplus remains there, hence leading to a lot of losses,” another tea farmer lamented.
Mulindi tea plantations benefits over 300 residents.
When contacted, the management of the factory said they reduced on their intake after a breakdown in some of its machines hence the current hitch.
“The problem was brought about after some machines which heat the tea developed cracks, thus reducing the capacity of the entire operations. However, repairs are ongoing to resolve the matter,” one of the managers, Jotham Kubwimana, explained
Mulindi tea factory launched its operations in 1962 and has a daily capacity of 85 to 95 tonnes of tea but due to the current technical hiccup, it has been processing only 50 tonnes.