Posts tagged as: agricultural

Team of Journalists Leaves for Study Tour in China

By Gadiosa Lamtey

Dar es Salaam — A high-level delegation of journalists led by the deputy director from ministry of Information, Mr Rodney Mbuya, has left to the People’s Republic of China for a 10 day training programme aimed at enriching the Tanzania-China relationship.

The delegation comprised of journalists from all prominent media channels and newspapers in the country is expected to attend a programme in Guangzhou which includes a visit to an industrial fair, a technological park, a textile park, port, agricultural park and to the agricultural equipment manufacturing plant.

They will also visit primary schools, the China Agricultural University and Star Times Media.

According to a statement from Exim Bank Tanzania, Tanzanian envoy to China, Ambassador Mbelwa Kairuki and the Chinese minister for Foreign Affairs, Zhang Ming have been instrumental in facilitating the trip.

The bank has facilitated the trip is patronage, which has always been in the forefront of increasing economic ties between the two countries.

Ms Katusime Nzarombi, Relationship Manager, Chinese Desk of Exim Bank Tanzania Limited which sponsored the travel of the delegation said: “China is now Africa’s biggest trade, investment, infrastructure, finance and aid partner.”

Migration and human flows between the two countries have become crucial, thus, the need for greater coverage of each other, he added.

The visit will strengthen the relationship between the two countries, improve the awareness of the delegation and in turn facilitate the imparting and spreading of knowledge to local Tanzanian so as to better understand each other.

The Chinese Ambassador to the country, Gou Haodong urged the journalists to learn several issues about China and how much the country has achieved to become a great nation.

He said there were many issues in China which media could highlight in order to enlighten Tanzanians especially on development.

“I know China was a socialist country like Tanzania, but we have been able to progress and so far it is one of the richest nations. Now, these and many more are the questions you should go ask so as to inform the Tanzania community,” he added.

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Namibia:Farmworkers’ Minimum Wage Up By 25 Percent

Windhoek — Successful wage negotiations between the Agricultural Employers Association (AEA), Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU), Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU) and Namibia Farm Workers Union (NAFWU) last week resulted in the previous farmworkers’ minimum wage of 2014 being increased by 25 percent.

According to the agreement, the minimum cash wage increased from N$3.70 to N$4.62 per hour, or N$900 per month for a worker who works 45 hours per week.

For those farmers who do not supply free rations, the ration allowance increases from N$400 to N$500 per month.

The total minimum basic wage for a farmworker’s value is thus now N$1,400 per month.

To calculate the value of free rations, an average price of N$30 per kg meat and N$6 per litre of milk is taken. Other free products are calculated at cost price. The part of the supply of housing, sanitation and water facilities as well as electricity (if available) has not changed.

The AEA is of the opinion that unskilled workers on farms are better off than in other industries as farm workers usually get free housing, rations, water and firewood, whilst workers in other industries have to pay a lot for this.

The aim of the farmworkers minimum wage is a reasonable starting wage for young people entering the market without any experience.

The real average basic salary of farmworkers on commercial farms was – according to the 2016 AEA wage report – N$1,975 per month, inclusive of ration value. This is 41% more than the minimum wage, which will come into force on November 1.

Namibia

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Africa:The Traditional Vegetable and Sweet Potato Research That’s Revolutionising the Way We Build Food and Nutrition Security in Africa

opinion

Johannesburg — Research focusing on traditional crops that are often ignored and known as “orphan crops” shows they contain minerals and vitamins that are essential for the body and are mostly consumed by rural African people. Various agricultural research institutions in Africa are currently carrying out research among these crops mainly to improve yields and controlling and lowering disease tolerance.

This is because there is need to urgently match Africa’s booming population with adequate food systems because if people are well nourished they become healthy and productive which is good for development. As the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) puts it “good nutrition begins with food and agriculture”.

The continent is the second most populous after Asia with about 2, 1 billion people. One in three people suffer from some form of malnutrition according to the 2016 Global Nutrition Report. Societal costs of malnutrition have resulted in 11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) being lost every year in Africa. Whereas the levels of stunting are generally on a decline over the past decade statistics are still unacceptably high with over 58 million of Africa’s children stunted. Beyond the social cost, FAO notes that the cost to the global economy caused by malnutrition, as a result of lost productivity and direct health care costs, could account for as much as 5 percent of GDP equivalent to US$3.5 trillion per year or US$500 per person.

At the Graça Machel Trust we believe that good nutrition must start at an early stage, for example, the first 1000 days from conception to birth are very critical. We work with key regional partners to increase capacity and build up the institutional establishment of national civil society nutrition networks. Strengthening these national civil society nutrition networks helps to keep nutrition advocacy in Africa on the global agenda.

Innovation Now new research is looking at innovative ways to boost agricultural production to feed the continent’s booming population by focusing on the orphaned crops that have been used for many years by Africa’s poor to relieve famine. Agricultural research is mainly concerned at increasing yields, adding of essential nutrients otherwise known as crop Bio- fortification, and control and lowering of diseases. Research has particularly been targeted at traditional vegetables because there are highly nutritious. The Water Research Commission has identified three inter-related challenges in sub-Saharan Africa which are water scarcity, population growth, and food and nutritional insecurity of essential micronutrients one of it is vitamin A. This also means agricultural production needs to increase against a backdrop of issues such as climate change (extreme weather, flooding, and droughts), soil fertility depletion, and land degradation. The majority of Africa’s population live in areas with poor soil fertility, and in addition, there are problems of access to capital and agricultural inputs and farming methods used by most Africans, which affects yields.

Traditional vegetables are capable of providing more than 50 percent of the recommended daily requirements of vitamins such as iron, zinc and beta carotene and they are also drought tolerant. Some of these vegetables are Chinese cabbage, pumpkin and water melon leaves, cowpea leaves and spider flower, which are widely eaten by mostly rural Africans in combination with thick maize meal porridge. These species often grow in the wild or as weeds, and collected for consumption as vegetables by African people. There are equally nutritious with iron, zinc and vitamins A and C and are also drought resistant.

The Water Research commission says: “The use of wild food forms part of the safety net that rural people use to cope with poverty, disaster and livelihood stress.” And for many years researchers and policy makers have ignored these types of leafy vegetables, but during the past two decades this has changed, particularly in countries like Zambia, Malawi and South Africa. The Agricultural Research Council of South Africa, for example, is making an effort to promote the cultivation and utilization of these vegetables by farmers, especially women and other vulnerable groups to mitigate malnutrition, effects of climate change and create wealth for all participants along the entire value chain.

Researchers are also focusing on the sweet potato crop because it is the seventh most produced food crop in the world after maize, rice, wheat, potato, cassava and barley. That’s according to FAO. And as a tuber crop it is the third most important after potato and cassava. It is a staple food in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. It is also a common crop among poor farmers because it grows in marginal conditions with limited agricultural inputs and low labour requirements. And again, efforts are research is underway to improve sweet potato yield and make it more disease tolerant.

Sweet potato roots produce more edible energy per hectare per day than wheat, rice or cassava and contains considerable amounts of carbohydrates, protein, fibre, pro-vitamin A, Vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin. It has been proven in many countries that Orange fleshed sweet potato variety, for instance, can be used to combat and alleviate vitamin A deficiency. This explains why Crop bio- fortification of sweet potatoes is in progress in most Sub-Saharan Africa including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zambia, Mozambique, Ghana, Madagascar and South Africa.

This article was compiled by Regional Coordinator Women in Media Network Millie Phiri with the assistance of the Graca Machel Trust scholarship PHD student Sonia Naidoo and alumni Nadia Ibraimo.

ABOUT:

The Graça Machel Trust The Graça Machel Trust is an advocacy organisation that works across the continent to drive positive change across women’s and children’s rights, as well as governance and leadership. Through our support of local initiatives and connecting key stakeholders at a regional, national and sub-national level, we help to catalyse action where it is needed. By using our convening power the Trust seeks to amplify the voices of women and children in Africa; influence governance; and promote women’s contributions and leadership in the economic social and political development of Africa.

ABOUT: Women in Media Network (WIMN) The Women in Media Network (WIMN) is the Trust’s most recent network comprising 35 highly experienced journalists from 15 countries across Africa. A key focus of the network will be to challenge the current perceptions and mindsets about Africa’s women and children and how they are portrayed in the media. We believe that through balanced storytelling we will be able shape a new reality – one that reflects more nuanced stories, told in the way that women want and deserve their stories to be told.

Lesotho:’Agriculture Sector At a Turning Point’

interviewBy Tsitsi Matope

THE agricultural sector has gone through trying times over the years, with the government introducing a number of programmes to address the dire situation and ensure food security.

Ensuring Lesotho farmers produce enough food for the nation and export is a vision the ministry has held for many years, but which persistently proves difficult to fulfil. In this wide-ranging interview, the Lesotho Times (LT) speaks with the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Mahala Molapo (MM) on why he believes the country’s farming sector is now at a “turning point”.

LT: This is your second appointment to the Ministry of Agriculture… the first was in 2012 when you were deputy minister and you were in the post for less than three years and early this year, you were appointed minister. How do you find the agricultural sector this time around?

MM: The main issue in the ministry is still food security, with the big question being how do we make sure agriculture attracts more people to fully utilise the land we have in order to produce enough for the country. I was in this ministry before in the first coalition government, but I have since realised that a lot of the programmes we had introduced changed their scope when the second coalition government took over. We are trying to see how best we can encourage farmers to go back to the fields this summer cropping season.

LT: What is your plan to make sure farmers meet the country’s 300,000 mt cereal requirement, considering the fact that the programme you started was disrupted by the new government in 2015?

MM: We understand that the cost of production is very high. Inputs are expensive and the majority of our farmers cannot afford the costs associated with land-preparation, seed, fertiliser, herbicides and pesticides. Our plan is to provide input-support through subsidy to encourage all our farmers to be productive. We are aware that there are some land-owners who may not be interested in farming this year and we are encouraging them to partner with commercial or Block Farmers willing to utilise the land and then share the crop. The ministry is also resuming support for commercial farming in order to increase production with a view to satisfying the local market.

LT: You are saying the plan is to provide subsidised inputs to ensure more land is put under cropping production. But do you have any estimates of how this could translate into the output?

MM: The government is supporting agricultural production in line with the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which encourages governments to inject 10 percent of their annual budget to agriculture. The government allocated M120 million to the agricultural sector, which, however, is a drop in the ocean considering the huge demand. But through subsidy, we are saying, let’s stretch these resources to meet the farmers half-way and ease the high production costs. This investment will go a long way to alleviate hunger at household level while the support we are giving to commercial farmers seeks to ensure there is surplus to sell locally. At the moment, we are only looking at meeting our local food needs.

LT: Do you think subsidy is the answer to the challenges facing the sector?

MM: The government’s current intervention is short-term while we work on sustainable ways to help improve the competitiveness of the sector. We believe that for now, subsidy can help but we also know that time must come when our farmers should be able to finance their own operations. Another solution is to strengthen the Out-Grower Schemes that will see big-time farmers providing support to their small-scale counterparts within their local communities. But of course, issues of creating local markets for our farmers to make agriculture profitable is key on our agenda.

LT: What favourable conditions are you setting or creating to ensure there is pride and dignity in agriculture as an occupation and viable sector, which is also inclusive of women and young people?

MM: We are at a turning point and I believe with hard work, partnerships, strong systems and innovation, the vision of a food-secure Lesotho is within reach. Farming profitably is also a major issue because that way, farmers will not perennially depend on subsidies from the government, which we do not intend to provide forever.

We have a mega-plan aiming to strengthen the value-chain system, which means taking care of all agricultural economic activities, from input supply to the market. We have started discussing who else benefits from the agricultural sector; what do they do and what do they need and how much from the sector and where are they currently getting what they need. Obviously, we know that many agricultural products such as food, are coming from South Africa and so how is this affecting our own farming sector and our economy? As a result, we are looking at these issues and seriously working towards strengthening our systems. We also hope that by so doing, we will promote our own farmers, including women and young people, and ensure dignity in agriculture as a decent occupation.

LT: Could you please tell us more about this mega-plan you are referring to?

MM: Our plan will see us working closely with various stakeholders within government and externally, in the development of infrastructure that will ensure we decisively deal with food losses. After our farmers harvest their crop, it should be collected through better roads and we would like to ensure that there are warehouses to store and preserve the produce. We have looked at the issue of markets and identified that there are a number of institutions and government programmes that can buy this local produce. We are talking about the prisons, ministries of Health and Education and Training, supermarkets, the hospitality industry, agribusinesses and many others. My ministry is also working closely with various partners to look into issues around the quality of produce. I strongly believe with support, our farmers can produce quality; many are already producing first-grade maize, sorghum, wheat, fruits and vegetables.

LT: What bigger picture are you seeing at the end of this grand scheme?

MM: At the very heart of this plan is to grow the economy of the country with a very special focus on developing the rural economy. I don’t believe that for people to develop, they have to come to Maseru or migrate to Leribe. I think the government should now focus on taking development to the least-developed towns using agriculture as its vehicle. Innovative and inclusive agriculture is what we are looking at because there are a number of approaches we can explore to increase production, such as focusing on high-impact agricultural production in Berea for example, and then paying more attention to value-addition.

We would like to create new opportunities that can increase wealth in all the districts and make people opt to stay where they are and be equally productive. I am not afraid to say, stay where they are and become rich through agricultural production, agribusinesses and working in this sector. More than anything, I would like to see us being able to facilitate knowledge-exchange visits to countries such as China, to expose our people to agro-technologies and enhance their business capacity.

LT: How is the ministry planning to implement all this?

MM: When you plan, you also have to have implementation in mind because on many occasions, we make unrealistic plans that are not implementable. The ministry does not work alone and the catch-word is ‘inclusivity’. We have our partners, among them the Ministry of Small Businesses which will play a critical role on the marketing side. But importantly, a conducive environment has to be created and this includes reviewing our strategies and policies to reserve the local market for local farmers and agribusinesses. To action this plan, we also need to create a common vision among our partners, so that they understand where we are heading together. We will discuss many issues seeking to strengthen the value-chain system, including improving institutions that support this value-chain, to ensure we have well-coordinated inclusive activities involving the farmers, civil society, women, the private sector, young people and others who have shown interest to work towards a Lesotho that is free of hunger and poverty.

LT: With all this on paper, how are you going to ensure sustainability in production? Lesotho is not immune to climatic shocks?

MM: The ministry understands that our agricultural sector is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Through our extension services, we will continue working with partners to support climate-smart agriculture. Some of the practices we are promoting are the use of drought-resistant seed varieties and also growing drought-resistant crops in areas prone to dry spells such as the southern districts of Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek. In the long-term, we would like to invest in large-scale water-harvesting projects through the creation of dams for irrigation and to continue expanding protected farming programmes. Animal health is also important and we continue working on improving health systems in view of the propensity to natural disasters. The wool and mohair promotion project, funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is helping farmers to make their production resilient while addressing the issues of quality. The World Bank and IFAD are also promoting the sustainable production of cash crops in harsh climatic areas such as Mafeteng. This project, which started in 2012, is also working with farmers in the districts of Berea, Leribe and Butha-Buthe.

LT: Other than climate change, what other risks do you see threatening your mega-plan?

MM: We need a stable government to develop as a country, more so if we are to fully implement this long-term plan. Continuity is very important. We need to start, progress, start reaping the fruits and continue improving our programmes for more benefits.

The ministry also needs to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation, which is a challenge due to limited manpower. I believe this is an important area because we need to monitor what we are doing and be able to know early if we are making progress or there are challenges for early remedial action. We also need a local consultant who can evaluate our operations to inform improved designing of our programmes.

Angola:Industry Sector Must Follow Agriculture Growth – Minister

Huambo — The Industry sector has to prepare to follow the pace of the probable growth of the agricultural sector, by creating factories to transform the field products.

The statement was made by the Minister of Industry, Bernarda Martins, to Angop on Wednesday, in the framework of the opening ceremony of the Agricultural Campaign 2017/2018, held in Catchiungo municipality, Huambo province.

Reacting to the challenge launched by the Angolan President, João Lourenço, according to which the industrial sector must create strategies for the emergence of agricultural processing plants, the minister said that it is necessary to channel more investments to the sector to respond to this programme.

For this purpose, Bernarda Martins stated that banks should be mobilized for financing, as well as the national and international private sector to join the plan.

She acknowledged that the food processing industry and the production of agricultural inputs, such as fertilizers and tools, are also needed.

At the ceremony, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Marcos Nhunga, said that the country plans to harvest two million and 500.000 tons of cereals in the current agricultural campaign.

Angola

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U.S.$25 Million Ifad Grant to Boost Burundi Financial Access

By Victor Kiprop

Burundi has signed a deal with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) that will see vulnerable groups including women and youth access financial services.

The project, dubbed Financial Inclusion in Burundi (PAIFAIR-B), will cost $28.6 million and targets more than 99,000 households in rural areas.

IFAD will provide $24.9 million in form of a grant, while Bujumbura and the beneficiaries will contribute the remaining amount.

The deal was signed in Rome recently by IFAD’s president Gilbert F Houngbo and Burundi’s Minister of Finance, Budget and Privatisation Phil Domitien Ndihokubwayo.

The PAIFAIR-B deal adds to the list of IFAD-funded rural development programmes in Burundi, where the United Nations agency has invested more than $230 million since 1979.

“The project will be rolled out in 17 provinces, and is designed to provide access to financial and other diversified services in order to foster the emergence of a wide range of income-generating enterprises in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors,” IFAD said.

The demand for financial services in Burundi exceeds the supply, with the majority of agricultural entrepreneurs forced to turn to “loan sharks” who charge exorbitant interest rates of up to 1,000 per cent.

A 2014 report by the global partnership for Financial Inclusion notes that only 12.5 per cent of the country’s adult population have an account in a formal financial institution.

The study blamed the low financial inclusion in the country on lower incomes and financial education and barriers such as lack of motorised transport outside the city of Bujumbura.

Decades of civil wars coupled with a fragile political process and recurrent climatic shocks have slowed economic activity in Burundi, consistently keeping economic growth in the country at below five per cent between 2006 and 2016.

More than 400,000 people had fled the country as at mid-September, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), while at least three million Burundians — nearly a quarter of the country’s population — were in need of humanitarian assistance as at January this year.

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Angola: President Opens Agricultural Campaign in Huambo

Luanda — The 2017/2018 agricultural campaign is on Wednesday officially being opened in Cachiungo municipality, central Huambo province, in a ceremony to be chaired by the Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço.

The act comes at a time when increasing domestic production to substitute imports is a slogan in the country, aiming to provide food safety and boost economic and social development.

In this regard, the national authorities take into account a gradual transition to the mechanized preparation of arable land already in the 2017/2018 agricultural campaign, which starts on Wednesday in Catchiungo municipality.

The intention is to have a larger fraction of cultivated land, to increase production per hectare and to make agriculture an important ally of the process of diversification of the national economy.

The model for this transition, which will extend to other areas of the country, is 300 hectares in 27 locality.

Data from the 2015/2016 crop year indicate that the country has 35 million hectares of arable land available for agriculture on a cultivated area of five million hectares (14%), an irrigable land of seven million hectares its total area, of which 3.4 million of traditional exploitation.

Angola has a hydrographic network constituted by 47 basins and with an estimated water potential of 140 billion cubic meters.

Angola

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Angola: Huambo – Entrepreneurs to Join Agricultural Mechanisation Business

Huambo — The project of preparing a good transition to an increased use of a mechanised system of agriculture, whose model is being implemented in a cultivation area of 300 hectares in Cachiungo Municipality, in the central Huambo Province, might be managed by entrepreneurial groups.

Although the project model that is being implemented in Cachiungo is mainly for peasant families, its implementation in other parts of the country might be managed by entrepreneurial groups, ANGOP has learnt.

According to the minister of Agriculture and Forests, Marcos Nhunga, the idea is to involve businesspeople in this process of mechanising the country’s agricultural activity both in monitoring and managing the project in different areas.

Speaking last Tuesday to journalists, the minister said this project is intended to be implemented in those provinces that do not have medium and large scale agricultural undertakings.

Marcos Nhunga, who is in the central Huambo Province to witness the opening of the 2017/2018 Agricultural Campaign, said he is hopeful that good results will come up.

On his turn, the governor of Huambo, João Baptista Kussumua, said on the occasion that with the potential it has the province can help other regions of the country.

“I think this is probably one of the reasons why Huambo has been chosen to host the national opening ceremony (of the agricultural campaign).

The 2017/2018 Agricultural Campaign is to be opened this Wednesday, in Huambo Province, by the Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço.

Data from the Ministry of Agriculture show that Angola has about 35 million hectares of land available for cultivation.

Angola

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NAEB Unveils New Trade Name for Rwanda’s Tea

By Peterson Tumwebaze

Rwanda’s tea will now be marketed under the Rwanda National Tea brand name as one of the ways to strengthen consumer confidence, as well as promote and ensure its competitiveness on the local and global markets, the National Agricultural Board (NAEB) has said.

Issa Nkurunziza, the tea division manager at NAEB, said the move seeks to communicate the values behind Rwandan teas, their uniqueness and their distinction.

“The new tea brand name seeks to reflect the values and vision of the stakeholders at every level of the tea value chain. It also seeks to increase sales and consumption at the local and international levels, but also help raise brand awareness among consumers,” he said.

He added that this can only be achieved through the development of a competitive brand strategy built on the product’s distinctive propositions, as well as its intangible values.

According to NAEB, the brand will empower and inspire stakeholders involved in the tea value chain to conserve and value the country’s heritage.

“The plan is to position Rwanda tea as a premium product in its own right by: introducing and re-enforcing its brand identity,” Nkurunziza said.

The agro-exports body believes that by creating a unique brand identity that reflects the quality of the country’s tea and its brand values will help boost the industry’s competitiveness globally.

Rwanda’s tea is sold through the Mombasa auction.

NAEB targets $94.9 million from tea exports per annum by 2018, from $65.7 million in 2013.

Changing the dynamics of tea trade

According to Nkurunziza, only registered tea stakeholders will use it, in conformity with the set standards and regulations. Establishing the brand in the market and growing the brand culture, loyalty and vision in the most cohesive, consistent way remains the key objective.

Sector experts say the new brand image could help promote and protect the reputation of Rwanda tea, setting it apart from other teas.

“This will eventually build confidence among buyers and inspire farmers to increase production but also embrace value addition,” said Pascal Nsabimana, the chairperson of Kobacyamu Tea Cooperative.

The brand values will reflect a link between the tea, the stakeholders and the country.

“The farmers are the backbone for the key brand message that will ensure that the brand proposition is in alignment with the stakeholders’ needs and beliefs.

“In business, we strongly believe that every success is strengthened by a brand. Once this is realised, there is no denying of the significance of the role that brand plays in marketing,” he said.

It’s only business that give clients positive experiences that succeed, according to Pie Ntwari, the NAEB communications manager.

Ntwari said having a national tea brand image will support efforts geared at improving quality as well as widening the market for the country’s tea.

The agro-exports body also plans to distribute 43 million tea seedlings by the end of the year.

So far, more than 13,650,000 tea seedlings have been distributed and planted.

Rwanda: NAEB Unveils New Trade Name for Rwanda’s Tea

By Peterson Tumwebaze

Rwanda’s tea will now be marketed under the Rwanda National Tea brand name as one of the ways to strengthen consumer confidence, as well as promote and ensure its competitiveness on the local and global markets, the National Agricultural Board (NAEB) has said.

Issa Nkurunziza, the tea division manager at NAEB, said the move seeks to communicate the values behind Rwandan teas, their uniqueness and their distinction.

“The new tea brand name seeks to reflect the values and vision of the stakeholders at every level of the tea value chain. It also seeks to increase sales and consumption at the local and international levels, but also help raise brand awareness among consumers,” he said.

He added that this can only be achieved through the development of a competitive brand strategy built on the product’s distinctive propositions, as well as its intangible values.

According to NAEB, the brand will empower and inspire stakeholders involved in the tea value chain to conserve and value the country’s heritage.

“The plan is to position Rwanda tea as a premium product in its own right by: introducing and re-enforcing its brand identity,” Nkurunziza said.

The agro-exports body believes that by creating a unique brand identity that reflects the quality of the country’s tea and its brand values will help boost the industry’s competitiveness globally.

Rwanda’s tea is sold through the Mombasa auction.

NAEB targets $94.9 million from tea exports per annum by 2018, from $65.7 million in 2013.

Changing the dynamics of tea trade

According to Nkurunziza, only registered tea stakeholders will use it, in conformity with the set standards and regulations. Establishing the brand in the market and growing the brand culture, loyalty and vision in the most cohesive, consistent way remains the key objective.

Sector experts say the new brand image could help promote and protect the reputation of Rwanda tea, setting it apart from other teas.

“This will eventually build confidence among buyers and inspire farmers to increase production but also embrace value addition,” said Pascal Nsabimana, the chairperson of Kobacyamu Tea Cooperative.

The brand values will reflect a link between the tea, the stakeholders and the country.

“The farmers are the backbone for the key brand message that will ensure that the brand proposition is in alignment with the stakeholders’ needs and beliefs.

“In business, we strongly believe that every success is strengthened by a brand. Once this is realised, there is no denying of the significance of the role that brand plays in marketing,” he said.

It’s only business that give clients positive experiences that succeed, according to Pie Ntwari, the NAEB communications manager.

Ntwari said having a national tea brand image will support efforts geared at improving quality as well as widening the market for the country’s tea.

The agro-exports body also plans to distribute 43 million tea seedlings by the end of the year.

So far, more than 13,650,000 tea seedlings have been distributed and planted.

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