The tea sector is an important agricultural industry in Africa, with many countries producing high-quality tea for both domestic consumption and export. Here are some statistics and prices related to the tea sector in Africa:
- Production: Africa is the largest tea producing region in the world, accounting for over 30% of global tea production. In 2020, Africa produced 1.3 million metric tons of tea, making it the second-largest tea producing region in the world after Asia. Kenya was the largest producer in Africa, accounting for about 50% of the continent’s total production. The top tea-producing countries in Africa in 2021 (as of August) were:
- Kenya: 432,185 tonnes
- Malawi: 53,475 tonnes
- Tanzania: 47,856 tonnes
- Uganda: 33,751 tonnes
- Rwanda: 29,654 tonnes
- Consumption: Africa is also a significant consumer of tea, with countries like Morocco, Egypt, and South Africa being major consumers. In 2020, the total tea consumption in Africa was about 600,000 metric tons. Although Africa is a major tea producer and exporter, tea consumption within the region is relatively low. According to the International Tea Committee, tea consumption in Africa accounts for only about 6% of global consumption.
- Prices: The price of tea in Africa is determined by a number of factors, including global supply and demand, weather conditions, and local market dynamics. In recent years, the price of tea in Africa has been relatively stable, with prices generally ranging between $2 and $3 per kilogram. The average auction prices for tea in the major African tea-producing countries in 2020 were as follows:
- Kenya: $2.40 per kilogram
- Malawi: $2.30 per kilogram
- Tanzania: $2.60 per kilogram
- Uganda: $2.80 per kilogram
- Rwanda: $2.40 per kilogram
Tea prices can vary significantly depending on factors such as quality, grade, and origin. Here are some recent average auction prices for tea in Kenya (which is a major global supplier of tea):
- January 2023: $2.85 per kilogram
- December 2022: $3.01 per kilogram
- November 2022: $3.14 per kilogram
It’s important to note that these prices are for auction-grade tea and may not reflect the prices paid to smallholder farmers or other participants in the tea value chain. Additionally, prices can fluctuate over time due to various factors such as weather conditions, political instability, and changes in consumer preferences.
- Employment: The tea industry is a major employer in many African countries, with millions of people working in tea plantations, factories, and related businesses. In countries such as Kenya, Malawi, and Tanzania, the tea industry is a significant contributor to the local economy and provides employment opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people. For example, in Kenya, the tea industry provides employment to over 3 million people.
- Export: African countries export a significant portion of their tea production to other countries, primarily in Europe, the Middle East, and North America. In 2020, African countries exported 832,000 metric tonnes of tea, with Kenya being the largest exported, the total value of African tea exports was about $1.4 billion. Other major tea exporters in Africa include Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
- Sustainability: The tea industry in Africa is increasingly focused on sustainability and social responsibility, with many producers adopting practices that promote environmental conservation and fair labor practices. In addition, there are several certification schemes, such as Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance, which aim to promote sustainable tea production, improve the livelihoods of tea workers, and promote responsible and ethical practices in the industry.
- Challenges: The tea sector in Africa faces various challenges, including climate change, low productivity, and competition from other tea-producing countries. However, efforts are being made to address these challenges through initiatives such as sustainable farming practices, increased investment in research and development, and improved market access.
Overall, the tea sector is an important part of Africa’s economy, providing employment and generating revenue. While there are challenges to be addressed, there is also great potential for growth and development in this sector.