Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tea agency to help Rwanda set up small-scale model


A giant tea development agency is to expand its operations in Rwanda to help set up the small-scale tea management model used in Kenya.

Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) says the move follows an invitation by the Rwandan government to replicate the Kenya model by centralising the selling of tea.

KTDA was given a seven-year contract supported by a firm from the United Kingdom to set up the structure in Rwanda.

“We have been hired as an agency to train cooperatives in Rwanda on our small holder model which is one of the most sought after case studies in the region in tea management, said KTDA chief executive officer Lerionka Tiampati in Nairobi on Tuesday.

Mr Tiampati said the Rwandan government had been privatising most of the tea cooperatives in the country but after it remained with two, it decided to rethink its strategy and adopt the Kenyan model.

The investor has also promised to hire experts from KTDA, the largest private tea management agency in Kenya, to train cooperatives on how to run factories after the seven-year lease expires.

According to Rwanda Today, the country plans to increase production to 41,873 tonnes annually and attain export receipts of Sh12 billion by 2017.

KTDA says this will put it in a good position to handle more forex from tea exports.

The tea agency has bought a 15 per cent stake in Family Bank as a strategic investor.

KTDA has also indicated that it will start offering insurance services through Majani Insurance brokers. The agency has also said it will get into manufacturing of tea processing equipment for local tea centres.