Kitabi Tea Factory – one of the tea brands sold at the East African Tea Traders Association (EATTA) in Mombasa under Rwanda Mountain Tea scooped an unprecedented price of $6.06 per kilogram for its best BP1 invoices
The codes BP1, PF1 and others match the tea grades in tea jargon – BP1 is the top grade.
Rwandan Tea Factory’s record value earned is the first to be reached since its founding in 1956 in the history of EATTA auction.
Gisovu tea plant went in second selling at $5.97 (about Rwf4500) per kilogram at the same auction.
Kitabi and Gisovu tea factories have overshadowed renowned pioneers, including those from Uganda and Kenya, of high quality manufacturers.
According to the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB), excellent prices are ascribed to the highly appreciated feedback from Rwandan tea consumers and ongoing involvement with farmers, pluckers and tea manufacturers in cooperation with the Rwandan Tea Association (FERWACOTHE), which has always ensured consistent quality that is sought after by the industry.
Rwandan tea producers had exported 30,573 MT at the end of the 2018/2019 financial year, generating $83,552,108 from tea grown over a total area of 27,112 hectares.
By 2024, NAEB says, it will have exported a complete amount of 65.099 Metric Tons of Rwanda Tea – producing $209 million.
According to Sanjy Ronald Sharma, Manager of Gisovu tea company, “It seems quality of tea is determining international prices and East African region, these are the highest prices we have gained in our factory.”
He added that at the Mombasa auction, the present prices won set the pace for the country’s tea to win even international awards.
“High prices will help in achieving more international markets. During this auction, bidders appreciated our quality and after the auctioning, we have been approached by different clients in Europe and Asia who need our tea,” Sharma told KT Press.
By enhancing quality, Sharma said to KT Press, “We have sensitized our farmers to leap prepared tea leaves, take excellent care of their tea plants, and spray pesticides. All of these enhance quality and lead to this milestone.