Kitabi Tea Factory – one of the tea marks sold under Rwanda Mountain Tea at the East African Tea Traders Association (EATTA) in Mombasa scooped the unprecedented price of $6.06 per kilogram for its best BP1 invoices.
In tea jargon, the codes BP1, PF1 and others corresponds to the tea grades – BP1 being the top grade.
The record price won by Rwandan Tea factory is the first to be reached in the history of EATTA auction since its inception in 1956.
At the same auction, Gisovu tea factory came second selling at $5.97 (approximately Rwf4500) per kilogram.
Kitabi and Gisovu tea factories, overshadowed famous pioneers of high quality producers including those from Uganda and Kenya.
The good prices, according to National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB), are attributed to the much valued feedback from the buyers of Rwandan tea and continuous engagement with farmers, pluckers and tea makers together with the Rwanda Tea Association (FERWACOTHE) that have always ensured consistent quality that is much sought after by the market.
As of end of financial year 2018/2019, Rwandan tea producers had exported 30.573 MT – generating $83,552,108 from tea grown on a total area of 27,112 hectares.
By 2024, NAEB says, a total volume of 65,099 Metric Tons of Rwanda Tea will have been exported – generating $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 the current prices won at the Mombasa auction sets the pace for the country’s tea to even win International accolades.
“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 improving more quality, Sharma told KT Press that “We have sensitized our farmers on leaping ready tea leaves, taking good care of their tea plants and spraying pesticides. All these improve quality and leads to this milestone.”