Ocir-Thé, Rwanda’s tea authority has announced a 22 percent decline in the sector’s revenues for the month of April as compared to the previous month.
According to Corneille Ntakirutimana, the Head of Planning and Strategic Management at Ocir-Thé, the drop in revenue was occasioned by the Easter period when there was less trading at the Mombasa tea auction market.
“The weekly tea auction trading at Mombasa was not carried out during the Easter season which led to the low volumes of sales hence low revenue,” said Ntakirutimana.
The sector generated $4.3 million in April, down from $5.5 million which had been generated in March.
There was also a slight decrease in national output. Production slid to 2,215,732 kg in April from 2,542,960 kg in March.
Ntakirutimana is optimistic that they will reach this year’s $59 million in revenue target and at their worst performance they will achieve 90 percent of the target.
Tea is among Rwanda’s leading foreign exchange earners along with coffee, tourism and mining. Ocir-Thé is supplied by 15 tea cooperatives but it is expected that before the end of the year three other cooperatives will have joined.
The government through the Ministry of Agriculture recently increased tea farm gate prices from Rwf86 per kg to Rwf96. On the international market, tea prices during the first quarter of this year were better than what they were last year in same period, standing at $2.7 per kilogram compared to $2.5 last year.
Rwanda exports most of its tea to the Arab world including Sudan, Egypt, Dubai, Afghanistan as well as Europe to the United Kingdom and Russia.