Nyabihu Tea Estate is part of the Rubaya – Nyabihu Tea Company, in which Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd acquired majority shares in 2006 through the privatization program whose aim was to yield shares to private investors and tea cooperatives to increase the tea sector efficiency. Nyabihu Tea Estate is located in the Western Province, Nyabihu District, on the road to Gisenyi after the junction to Mukamira, 121 km away from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. Nyabihu tea estate is situated 2,400 meters above sea level.
Nyabihu tea estate has 1,411.97 hectare of land, of which 1,043.54 hectares are occupied by tea plantations and staff houses; and 368.43 hectares by fire wood forest.
Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd has given Nyabihu Tea Estate the mission to grow and process quality tea while ensuring protection of the environment through agricultural practices that enhance the natural development of the tea bushes, and through appropriate modern manufacturing processes aimed at producing best quality teas. Nyabihu Tea Estate provides a safe working environment that focuses on the welfare of its employees and their development.
Nyabihu Tea Estate has received a number of international recognized certificates including the ISO 22 000:2005 Certificate, the Rainforest Alliance Certificate and the Pesticide Residue Certificate.
Nyabihu Tea Estate produces some of its green leaves and buys part of it from out-grower tea farmers, who are united in Copthega tea cooperative.
The tea estate produces some of the best black CTC tea in the region, and has in 2017 scooped the overall best black CTC tea at the 3rd East African Tea Convention and Exhibition held in Nairobi in May.
Rubaya Tea Estate is part of the Rubaya – Nyabihu Tea Company, in which Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd acquired majority shares in 2006 through the privatization program which aim was to yield shares to private investors and tea cooperatives to increase the tea sector efficiency. Rubaya Tea Estate is situated in the Northwestern part of Rwanda, more precisely in the Western Province, Ngororero District, 145 km away from Kigali.
Rubaya tea bushes are grown on high volcanic soils near the area where the famous Silver Back or Mountain Gorilla lives. Rubaya enjoys regular and abundant rains most of the year round and has a yearly average temperature of 14 °C.
Rwanda Mountain Tea limited has entrusted Rubaya Tea Estate with the mission to grow and process quality tea while protecting the natural habitat where many species of wildlife are found through good agricultural processes and appropriate manufacturing methods. Rubaya Tea Estate provides all year round employment to 7,000 people.
Rubaya Tea Estate has received a number of certificates of standards including Rainforest Alliance Certificate for is sound management of the natural reserves; ISO 22000:2005 for safety of its food management system and Pesticide Residue Certificate for offering teas non contaminated by chemical pollutants.
Rubaya Tea Estate buys 30 % of its green leaf from 1,280 village tea growers grouped under the Cotragagi Cooperative. Rubaya Tea Estate supports the cooperative through sharing technical skills and assisting in procurement of tea consumables. It also assist alleviate poverty in surrounding communities through different social and development programmes.
Kitabi Tea Company Ltd (KTC) is one of the tea companies that was yielded to Rwanda Mountain Tea limited (RMT) in 2009 under the privatization program which aim was to release shares in tea gardens to private investors and tea grower cooperatives in order to improve efficiency of the tea sector.
This company that is comprised of tea plantations, a tea factory and a fire wood forest is located in the Southern Province, Nyamagabe District, along the northern boundary of the Nyungwe natural forest, at 2,300 meters above sea level. The company is located 5 kilometers away from the main Nyamagabe road, at approximately 187 km from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda.
Kitabi tea bushes are grown on rich drained soils, of which 850 hectares belong to the out grower tea farmers of the Cobacyamu cooperative and 800 hectares to the company. The fire wood forest occupies 540 hectares of land located in and around the tea plantations. Kitabi has 2 main seasons, the dry season from June through September, and the rainy season throughout the rest of the year, with temperatures varying between 7 and 22 degrees celsius.
Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd has given KTC a mission to grow and process quality tea while ensuring protection of the natural resources through agricultural practices that enhance yields and appropriate manufacturing methods. KTC provides a safe professional working environment to its employees, focusing on the welfare of the workers, and support to neighboring tea communities.
Kitabi tea factory complies with environmentally friendly procedures set by REMA (Rwanda Environment Management Authority) and has received a number of international certifications, namely:
• Pesticides Residue Certificate
• ISO 22000:2005 food safety management systems
• Rainforest alliance certification
• Organic NOP and EOS certifications for its Busenyi Block.
Kitabi Tea Factory won the best overall black tea quality tea award at the 2nd East Africa Tea Convention and Exhibition that was held in Kigali in August 2013.
It also received a prize for best black CTC category Dust1 tea grade and best BP1 tea grade at this competition. In 2015, Kitabi scooped the best BP1at the 6th North American Tea Cupping Event held in San Antonio, Texas.
Most recently in 2017 Kitabi won the best Dust 1 award at the 3rd East African Tea Convention and Exhibition held in Nairobi, and was awarded in September 2017 the Supplier of the Year 2017 prize from Taylors of Harrogate, one among the most consistent private buyers of Kitabi tea.
KTC contributes to alleviating poverty in local communities through providing employment to 5,000 people, periodically distributing cows to the most vulnerable households, and has assisted in construction of a vocational school to equip children with life earning skills. Kitabi has furthermore assisted in providing potable water to surrounding populations.
Finally, the strategic business partnerships with out-growers cooperatives have ensured improved and sustainable green leaf production from the tea out-growers. In the same spirit Rwanda Moutain Tea Ltd has extended support to out-growers in a number of ways, including; agronomy services and supply of inputs on flexible repayment terms.
Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd/Rutsiro Tea Factory or Rutsiro Tea Factory in brief, is located in the Rutsiro District, approximately 124 km from Kigali city. Through privatization, Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd obtained 100% shares in the Government tea plantations in Rutsiro in a deal that was sealed in 2012. Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd also acquired 66 hectares of eucalyptus forest.
Tea out-growers in Rutsiro have over 1,000 hectares of tea plantations. From the onset Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd strategized to make all tea plantations in Rutsiro 100% organic.
Building of Rutsiro tea factory by Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd started in 2012, shortly after the takeover of the tea plantations, and was completed in 2014. Full processing of tea started end 2014.
Rutsiro Tea Factory has obtained certificates for compliance with norms of food production (ISO 220000:2005), sustainable agriculture (Rainforest Alliance) and organic farming (EOS and NOP organic certificates).
Rutsiro Tea Factory produces organic certified black CTC tea and organic certified orthodox black and green tea. The company has signed forward contracts with major blenders and packagers for the processed tea, and projects to expand its plantations and those of the tea out-growers to ensure full production capacity of the factory as it operates presently at a tenth of the build in capacity.
Giving back to the community
Rutsiro Tea Factory employs over 1,000 casual workers, and intends to increase the number of workers as the production and operations increase. It provides a source of income for Rutegroc, the tea cooperative of 2,072 members, by buying their produce all year round. In addition, the factory assists tea out-growers subscribe to health insurance schemes; helps with construction of access roads to benefit them move their production….
Gatare Tea Factory is a new processing factory located in the Western Province of Rwanda, with annual projected made tea production of 1,200 tons, made possible by a single CTC line that has already been installed. The factory relies on tea out-growers for green leaf supply.
Gatare aims to process high quality tea by paying attention to detail and continuous improvement. Gatare has also embraced internationally recognized sustainable manufacturing and agricultural practices in order to ensure it becomes a mark of choice. The factory, which was built and equipped by Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd, is scheduled to open beginning 2018.