As stated by the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB), during the 2019/2020 financial year, Rwanda expects revenues from tea exports equal to $102 million (Rwf 95.7 billion). In 2018, Rwanda recorded tea earnings of $83 million (about Rwf78 billion).
2019 was an even precarious year for tea factories as the price of a kilogram dropped furthermore to $2.79. Rwanda registered a loss in tea exports from $90.4 million in 2018 to $86.3 million in 2019.
In an interview with Doing Business, Surrender Jhijaria, Pfunda Tea Company Senior Manager stated that in the last three years, the company dealt with low production which he attributes to unfavorable climatic conditions. However, this year looks more promising as Pfunda Tea Company projects for an increase in production from 2.5 million kilograms in 2019 to 2.6 million kilograms.
Jonathan Nsengimana, a tea farmer in Nyabihu told Further Africa that due to unfavorable climate conditions, at least 40 Hectares of tea were damaged.
“There was a flood on Sebeya River which made us lose 40 Hectares of our tea plantation. However, if the weather is favorable this year, our production is likely to increase.”
To counter low productivity, tea farmers in cooperatives have suggested more incentives to address the negative effects of climate change including acquiring fertilizers at a low price. Given that tea and coffee are the two export crops expected to drive Rwanda’s agriculture exports as stated in the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1). agro-processing industries across Rwanda will be facilitated to access raw materials and fertilizers at an affordable cost. This year, tea factories will be increased from 16 to 19 across the country.