Nestled in the lush green hills of Nyaruguru, Rwanda lies a small tea factory that is making a big impact on the local community. From leaf to wealth, this three-line tea factory is helping to pave the way to prosperity for Nyaruguru tea growers. Join us as we explore the inspiring story of how this factory is changing lives and transforming the tea industry in Rwanda.
By Justin Kayiranga
In a groundbreaking development for Nyaruguru district, the construction of a cutting-edge three-line Kibeho Tea Factory is set to unleash a wave of prosperity for tea farmers mainly 12,000 members of Services Company Outgrowers Nyaruguru (SCON). With advanced technology and increased processing capacity, this new facility promises to revolutionize the tea industry, opening doors to higher yields, improved quality, and enhanced livelihoods for the farmers.
Nyaruguru district, known for its lush tea plantations and dedicated farmers, is on the brink of a transformational journey. The construction of a state-of-the-art 3-line Kibeho Tea Factory has commenced since 2023, igniting hopes of a brighter future for the 12,000 hardworking individuals who have dedicated their lives to cultivating this beloved crop.
The new 3-line tea factory will boast cutting-edge technology, allowing for improved processing efficiency, increased production capacity, and enhanced tea quality.
Felix Mutai, representing Ekaterra Tea Rwanda, said that the project is an investment of Ekaterra with a support from tea farmers in Nyaruguru and it will be the biggest in Rwanda with a capacity of processing 150 tons of green leaf per day.
He said “60 to 70 percent of that green leaf will come from the farmers and only 30 to 40 percent will be our own (Ekaterra).”
“At the completion the factory will be a three lines and will process 150 tons of green leaf per day.”
Both Gatsinzi Eugene and Sinigenga Theoneste, tea farmers in Nyaruguru, affirm that the factory will benefit them in different ways including shortening turnaround times while enabling them to meet growing consumer demand, reduce post-harvest losses and maximize their profits.
“We used to spend nights carrying the produce to the factory as it was not closer to our farmlands however as the factory is being constructed around our farms, we won’t have the same difficulties as before and the yield will be delivered to the factory on time.” Gatsinzi said.
Sinigenga Theoneste also said “Sometimes the harvested tea would get spoiled because there was a time when we were harvesting and waiting for the vehicles to take it to the factory and it was delayed due to bad roads and the factory being far away from our tea collection center.”
factory construction activities
Only famers working with SCON will be allowed to take their produce to the factory.
Speaking to TOP AFRICA NEWS, SCON General Manager, Mr. Hategekimana Vincent, revealed that the doors are still opened for farmers who wish to work with them so as to be facilitated with working with the new factory expected to be completed by the end of this year.
“Our target is to have at least 6417ha of tea growing surface. So far, we have got around 1700ha but we are still registering more farmers who wish to join us so that we may get more land surface of tea growing.” Vincent said
Kibeho Tea Factory catchment will include parts of Busanze, as well as Kibeho, Munini, Mata, and Cyahinda sectors in Nyaruguru District in the Southern Province as per the tea zoning scheme.
The management of Ekaterra say that, at the start, the facility will employ 200 people and it will cost around € 5 million at completion.