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.