Rwanda’s tea exports rose by 15 percent during the financial year 2017/18 on the back of increased Rwanda Tea brand promotional activities, experts say. Issa Nkurunziza, the head of the tea division at the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB), says that Rwanda exported 27,824 tonnes of tea during the period under review generating $88 million (about Rwf77.4 billion), which is higher than what was recorded in the previous year. The country shipped out 25,128 tonnes of tea during fiscal year 2016/17.
Nkurunziza said that the decision to market the tea under the “Rwanda Tea, a Natural Reawakening” brand that was launched last year was now paying dividends. He noted that the campaign has boosted the interest and attracted the attention of tea buyers locally and on the regional and global markets.
NAEB projects the country to fetch $92 million from a targeted 21,000 metric tonnes of tea exports this fiscal year. Different teas are marketed under the Rwanda Tea brand, including black tea, green tea, organic tea and spicy teas.
The NAEB official said that 75% of Rwanda’s tea was sold through the Mombasa auction, while between 23 and 24% was bought through the export body’s memoranda of understanding with buyers, and only 1.7% was sold on the local market.
The beverage is sold to 48 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, according to NAEB. The tea sector supports 42,840 farmers in Rwanda’s 12 districts, mainly from Northern, Western and Southern provinces, and whole tea value chain employs 69,811 workers including; casual and permanent staff.
Support Tour du Rwanda
Rwanda Tea is in one of the sponsors of the annual Tour du Rwanda. Amb. George William Kayonga, the chief executive officer of NAEB, says that the event provides NAEB an opportunity to further market Rwanda’s tea to the world.
“We are happy to work with Rwanda Cycling Federation in making this competition. Apart from the competition, the participants will be able to enjoy Rwanda’s breathtaking greenery, including tea plantations and other tourism attractions,” Kayonga said on August 4. The brand will reward the best combative rider at each stage. The international cycling competition started on August 5 and ends this weekend.