Rwanda's tea growers are not happy as the prices on the international market remain low, although agricultural exports are recovering as the coronavirus pandemic restrictions eased.
According to the growers, due to the prolonged dry season, which started from May until October, quality and quantity of tea produced have been affected.
Philibert Shumbusho, manager at the Rwanda Tea Farmers' Co-operative Federation told Rwanda Today that with the coronavirus pandemic effects, which have barred the auctions, the international prices have become uncompetitive.
“With the gatherings banned due to the coronavirus, the auctions through which tea has been gaining better prices have been banned as well, which have seen the prices go down,” Mr Shumbusho said.
According to the official figures from National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), Rwanda’s tea has been fetching the higher prices among the East African Tea Trade Association in Mombasa auctions.
Throughout all four auctions that held during November, out of 36,117,266kg sold, 1,222,750kg were of Rwandan origin and were sold at an average price of $1.90 per kilo. However, the Rwandan tea variety has been consistently attracting a higher price of $2.67 per kilo, though has remained lower compared to those of prior pandemic.
According to the prices variation chart from NAEB, Rwanda’s tea variety has been fetching $3.04 per kilo in the same period of last year.
On the other note, the NAEB official figures indicate that the export volumes have slightly gone down on year-on-year. According to the figures, Rwanda’s tea exports have gone down with almost 450, 000 kilogrammes, within one month, from 1,661,563 Kilograms exported in November last year.