KAMPALA. Despite experiencing a prolonged dry spell early in the year, East Africa registered a 6.4 per cent increase in tea sales at the Mombasa auction.
The latest auction report released on December 1 shows the region exported 8.9 million kilogrammes, up from 8.3 million sold around the same time last year.
Kenya recorded most sales. Out of the total tea exported, Kenya sold 7.2 million kilogrammes up from 6.3 million sold last year, representing a 12.5 per cent increase in sales.
Uganda, which majorly exports her tea through Mombasa, ranked second with a 10.6 per cent increase in sales. The country sold 1.2 million kilogrammes up from 1 million sold last year.
In Uganda, smallholder farmers contribute a lot in the production of tea, something which has seen the industry contribute immensely to the export sector. Tea is ranked among the top five leading export commodities.
On the other hand, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania recorded a fall in their sales at the auction in the past one year.
Tanzania recorded the least sales indicating a 498 per cent fall. The report notes that this year, the country sold 45,634 kilogrammes down from 273,188 it sold last year.
Burundi sold 98,630 kilogrammes of tea down from 216,971 kilogrammes it exported last year. This performance indicated a 119 per cent fall.
Rwanda exported 314, 839 kilogrammes down from 438,966 it sold last year indicating a 39 per cent drop.
Mr George William Ssekitooleko, the secretary general Uganda Tea Association, said increased production is likely to redeem the country’s revenue earnings which were not good in the past year.
“This year, our revenue projections are likely to remain the same like what we earned $90 million (Shs297 billion),” he said.
In 2014, the country earned $90 million (Shs297 billion) which was below what the country had earned the previous year $100 million (Shs330 billion).