Tea revenue drop, farmers blame prolonged dry season

Thursday July 11 2019



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Rwanda’s tea production’s revenues in the first quarter of this year dropped by 7 per cent, due to the prolonged dry season.

National Bank of Rwanda figures indicate that during the first four months of the year, volumes of exported tea in the first five months increased by 80,000 kilogrammes.

Farmers blame harsh weather, which include rising temperatures for a decline in production. “Our tea production reduced during the first months of this year due to the average rain season that normally affects the quality and the quantity of the production in the tea farming,” Hermenegilde Shyaka, c-oordinator of Rwanda’s Federation of Tea growers’ Co-operatives, told Rwanda Today.

According to the farmers, due to the delayed rain for openings days of this farming season, the tea quality has been affaceted.

Prices of Rwandan tea brand dropped from an average of Rwf2, 819 per kilo ($3.1) to Rwf2, 452 ($ 2.7) that a kilo has been costing in the past five months.

Under the revenue sharing scheme in the tea value chain that sees processors take 60 per cent, the farmers take 40 per cent of what their tea sold at.

The tea farmers indicate that as the tea production falls, the prices have started dropping on the farm gate in the range of Rwf3 to Rwf5 per kilo.