Tea has become one of Rwanda’s most important export crops and a major contributor to the national economy
Nshili Kivu Tea Plantation has announced that it recorded high production, income and profits in the year 2012 and expects similar record-breaking performances in the years ahead.
The plantation currently accounts for about 17 percent of all the tea produced in Rwanda.
According to the company, tea production at Nshili Kivu was up 17 percent last year while income jumped to 27 percent and profits skyrocketed to 178 percent over 2011.
Records show that the plantation experienced explosive growth since it was privatized in 2006.
Last year, tea production in was 4 million kilogrammes up from 2.3 million kilogrammes in 2006, while income was $4.3 million up from $338, 848 six years ago.
After significant infrastructure investments in the early years, the plantation first turned a profit in 2009 and last year it made $1.2 million.
Nshili Kivu Management attributed the tea plantation’s success to major modernization and technological upgrades, including construction of a new processing facility in 2008.
The new plant eliminated the need for processing to take place off-site, cutting down transportation costs, increasing harvesting time and improving the overall tea quality.
Tea is quickly becoming one of Rwanda’s most important export crops and a major contributor to the national economy. In the last six years, Nshili Kivu has paid nearly $1 million (USD) in taxes and other fees to the Rwandan government.
The company is also doing its part to help the local economy and improve employees’ quality of life. Its expansion and modernization has led to many area improvements, including new roads and buildings, as well as services such as electricity and mobile connectivity.
It has also raised incomes in surrounding communities, enabling more families to send their children to school and gain access to health care.