The daily quantity of tea processed at “Rutsiro Tea Factory” is said to have slowed down from 75 to 15 tons due to production shortage. As a result, some parts of the factory are not operating since the factory was built in 2014.
The factory, built in Gihango Sector in Rutsiro District is said to be short of the quantity of tea needfor daily processing where it processes between 10 and 15 tons per day while it was targeting to process 75 tons per day.
Jean Damascene Nsanzimfura, the factory vice-teamaker, said the targeted produce has not matched their expectations, but cut down, and the management decided to reduce the processing capacity of the tea factory.
He said, “the factory was built targeting to process 75 tons of tea per day, but we later reduced the processing quantity for the factory to 30 tons per day. But we are still struggling to get those 30 tons as we are getting only between 10 and 15 tons per day”.
He points out the shortage might be linked to distant area on which tea is grown in the district.
He adds that the area might be expanded only if people are encouraged to grow and take good care of tea.
“What is most important is to encourage farmers to grow tea because we still have a smaller space of tea plantation. The factory itself has 300 hectares of tea plantation plus at least 400 hectares that tea growers use, and some of which are not well …”.
We need to encourage them take care of it so the factory gets enough tea for processing. We are targeting extending at least 2000 hectares of tea plantation so the factory works regularly”.
He is positive that, given that a big part of farmers’ fields tea is being planted are new, the factory could soon get the targeted quantity needed for daily processing, but that they will need to wait for at three or five years.
Innocent Munyakazi, the district Vice-Mayor in charge of Finance and economic planning said the district offials are also determined to encourage people to grow tea at a bigger area to get the produce needed by the factory.
He said, “The idea to build the tea factory here and grow tea around was that it is being grown hillsides where farmers were struggling to get satisfying produce for other crops. We even helped in encouraging farmers to grow tea at the area and gave them funds to take care of it day after day until it was ready to harvest. We are expecting more people coming to apply and start growing it in few days ahead because former growers have started earning profits”.
A kilogram of wet tea has upped to Rwf 274 from Rwf 180 during the last four months.
The price is regulated by the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) depending on the taste of tea grown in this district area.
Rutsiro Tea Factory started to prepare the fields on which tea would be grown since 2008 before it was built in 2014. It has given jobs to at least 850 workers.
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