Tea exports soar 9.4%

Tea export revenue has increased by 9.4 per cent on the back of good harvest following good weather in tea farming areas and the use of machines.

The country, the Africa’s fourth largest producer, recorded relative impressive export revenues for the period between July-December 2010/11, after its output increased to 13 million kilogrammes from 11.91 million kgs.

Tea Board of Tanzania (TBT), Director General Mathias Assenga said tea export revenue has increased from 9.54 million US dollar (15.3bn/-) for the period of (July-December 2010) to 10.68 million US Dollar (17.1bn/-) in same period last year, an increase of 9.4 per cent.

“The entire 11 districts that produce tea had their production going up except Mufindi district. We are investigating the reason behind the low output,” Mr Assenga said.

The Director attributed the reason for the impressive export revenues partly to good weather and also farmers switching from hand hoe to machine based cultivation. Rungwe district is the good example of the transformation.

To maintained and increase output, TBT and other tea stakeholders have agreed to increase price by 4/- to 200/- per kg effective January-June this year. “The new price will attract more farmers to grow tea. We have also agreed to review the price of made tea every year and the bonus will be paid annually,” Assenga said.

The new price comes as the board and tea stakeholders agreed to review the price of made tea. The price reflects the average price of Mombasa and Tanzania tea auctions.

The average of tea price for 2011 for exporting made tea and also selling made tea in Tanzania dropped from US$1.76 per tonne in 2010 to US$1.69 a tonne in 2011.

TBT projected to increase made tea production from an average of 32,000 metric tonnes per annual to 250,000 metric tonnes by the year 2061. 

According to statistics from the International Tea Committee annual bulletin (2011), Tanzania’s tea output ranks behind Kenya, Malawi and Uganda in the continent.
Source: The Daily News,www.dailynews.co.tz
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