KIGALI, 10th May 2016 Following their selection as preferred bidder in a public tender offer last year, the Government of Rwanda (GoR) has today signed an agreement with Unilever Tea Rwanda Limited to develop two large scale tea sites in Nyaruguru district, precisely in the sectors of Kibeho and Munini in a ceremony held in Kigali.
Unilever will invest in a multi-million dollar project (estimated to be between USD 40M -- 50M) to construct a tea processing factory to produce high quality black tea from green leaf, develop two new tea estates and support small scale tea growers in Kibeho and Munini. Two partner organisations, the UK Wood Foundation and the Dutch Sustainable Trade initiative IDH will support the smallholder tea development which will form a core part of the tea supply. As a result, the Government of Rwanda and Unilever intend to create over 2000 jobs and develop some 4,000 hectares of tea plantation, thereby improving the livelihoods of many thousands of farmers and their families.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and is the world’s largest tea marketing company with leading brands such as Lipton Yellow Label, PG Tips, Brooke Bond Red Label and many others.
Commenting on the Project, Hon. Minister Geraldine Mukeshimana, the Minister of Agriculture, said that: “The Government of Rwanda has put up a commendable effort to achieve rural economic transformation as envisioned its vision 2020. Through this partnership with Unilever, the Government of Rwanda seeks to improve the livelihood of its citizens through the creation of jobs and generating wealth for small scale tea growers in Kibeho and Munini by providing them a reputable partner & ready market for their tea.”
Camille Z Chammas, Unilever Vice President Supply Chain Procurement & Sustainability commented that: “This project is a partnership between many stakeholders that will allow Rwanda to exploit its potential to produce some of the world’s best tea sustainably with direct links to global markets via our supply chain and brands that will provide a secure long term income for rural communities.”
Speaking at the signing, Francis Gatare, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board also mentioned that: “Rwanda has for long been recognised for producing high quality tea and we are happy to have Unilever join the industry, and look forward to showcase additional investment opportunities in the tea sector while working with our current partners to develop this sector focusing on value addition.”
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