There been in the recent days fresh export numbers. And they are either positive or staggering in the different countries. I have taken the massive cup of tea and how much of the leaf that are being sold abroad. So we can see the difference between Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Which has stories; the most significant is Burundian Tea Export especially considering the turmoil and issues after the “election and swear-in” on the third-term of Pierre Nkurunziza. But I believe the numbers will speak for themselves. I will take it country by country.
Numbers from Burundi:
“Burundi’s tea export earnings in the first half of the year were up 61 percent on the same period of 2014” (…)”Burundi’s state-run tea board (OTB) reported first-half earnings of $17.9 million, against $11.1 million in the same period last year, on export volumes that jumped to 6,262,710 kg from 5,229,351 kg” (Nduwimana, 2015).
Numbers from Kenya:
“Kenya’s tea output fell 22 percent in the first-half of 2015 from a year before, according to data from the industry regulator, after the country was hit by drought at the start of the year” (…)”The data also showed Kenya exported 247.57 million kg of tea, down from 249.8 million kg in the first six months of last year” (Clarke, 2015).
Numbers from Rwanda:
“Rwanda’s tea export earnings increased by 27 per cent to over $6 million in July, driven by better prices on the international market, the National Agriculture Exports Board (NAEB) monthly report indicates” (…)”Tea prices were up 55 per cent to $3.49 (about Rwf2, 617.5)/kilo in July, up from 2.25 (about Rwf1, 687.5)/kilo during the same period last year, according to the report” (Tumwebaze, 2015). Auctioned of sale of tea at the Mombasa Market: “Kenya, the leading contributor on the Auction, offered 5.6 million kilogrammes and was able to sale 4.5 million, indicating a 24 per cent sale” (Nakaweesi, 2015).
Numbers from Uganda:
“The data shows value of exported tea fell by 4.6 per cent or Sh5.3 billion ($51 million) in the period to stand at Sh110.4 billion” (Irungu, 2015). More scary numbers of this cup of tea: “Uganda has about 200,000 hectares suitable for tea production, but only 14 per cent (28,000 hectares) is utilised both by small holder and estate owners” (Nakaweesi, 2015).
That Burundi has gotten such a leap forward and Kenya going down because of drought. Rwanda is earning more per kilo and Uganda export also slowed down. And this is important for the rural agriculture and export business. The rural famers need security of export and prices. Therefore the worldwide change of prices together with the weak local currencies isn’t making things safe for farmers. That is not their business to keep the inflations at bay. They are making sure we’re drinking a superb cup of tea. Therefore when we see these prices the Governments has an issue to make sure the value of export is stabile for the sake of the farmers. This are not just numbers for crunchers to swallow and by “futures” to secure stock in the trade and a quick buck. They don’t see the hard-work on the ground. The farmers should be paid fair for their work and surplus of their produce. As everybody would be given what they deserve for their harvest, right? Peace.
Clarke, David – ‘Kenya’s tea production falls 22 pct due to drought’ (08.09.2015) link: http://af.reuters.com/article/kenyaNews/idAFL5N11E2P020150908
Irungu, Geoffrey – ‘Shilling under pressure as export-import gap rises by Sh115bn’ (06.09.2015) link: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Export-import-gap-up-by-Sh115bn/-/539552/2860600/-/item/1/-/yhbrw0z/-/index.html
Nakaweesi, Dorothy – ‘Regional tea prices go down’ (03.09.2015) link: http://mobile.monitor.co.ug/Business/Business/Regional-tea-prices-go-down/-/2471014/2856212/-/format/xhtml/-/3qljyl/-/index.html
Nduwimana, Patrick; Drazen Jorgic and Goodman, David – ‘Burundi first-half tea earnings jump by 61 pct’ (08.09.2015) link: http://af.reuters.com/article/investingNews/idAFKCN0R80S120150908
Tumwebaze, Peterson – ‘July tea exports rake in Rwf4.7b, earnings from coffee drop 21%’ (04.09.2015) link: http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/article/2015-09-04/192182/