NSHILI KIVU, Rwanda, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nshili Kivu Tea Plantation today announced that it smashed all records for production, income and profits in 2012 and expects similar record-breaking performances in the years ahead. The plantation now accounts for about 17 percent of all the tea produced in Rwanda.
Tea production at Nshili Kivu was up 17 percent last year, income jumped 27 percent and profits skyrocketed 178 percent over 2011, the company reported. The plantation has experienced explosive growth since it was privatized in 2006. Tea production in 2012 was 4 million kg, up from 2.3 million kg in 2006, and income was $4.3 million (USD), up from $338,848 (USD) six years ago. After significant infrastructure investments in the early years, the plantation first turned a profit in 2009. Last year it made $1.2 million (USD).
Nshili Kivu owner Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa attributed the tea plantation's success to major modernization and technological upgrades, including construction of a new processing facility in 2008. The new plant eliminated the need for processing to take place off-site, cutting down transportation costs, increasing harvesting time and improving the overall tea quality.
Ayabatwa, a successful pan-African entrepreneur and industrialist, purchased the 1,806-acre plantation in February, 2006. Nshili Kivu is now one of the largest employers in the region with 1,180 seasonal and full-time workers.
"The Nshili Kivu tea plantation has exceeded all of my expectations," Ayabatwa said. "We knew that we had great potential here to produce some of the best tea in the world, and create demand for a high-quality product. But we couldn't have envisioned that after just six years, Nshili Kivu would be enjoying this level of success. I'm extremely grateful to our employees for all their hard work."
Tea is quickly becoming one of Rwanda's most important export crops and a major contributor to the national economy. In the last six years, Nshili Kivu has paid nearly $1 million (USD) in taxes and other fees to the Rwandan government.
Nshili Kivu is also doing its part to help the local economy and improve employees' quality of life. Its expansion and modernization has led to many area improvements, including new roads and buildings, as well as services such as electricity and mobile connectivity. Nshili Kivu has also raised incomes in surrounding communities, enabling more families to send their children to school and gain access to health care.
"We are always looking for ways to give back to the community and support our employees and their neighbors," Ayabatwa said. "We understand that none of our success would be possible without them."
For more information about Ayabatwa, his entrepreneurship and his philanthropy, go to http://tribertrujugiro.com/
Erin Billings, Podesta Group
SOURCE The Nshili Kivu Tea Plantation