UK firm takes over Karongi - Gisovu Tea Factory

KARONGI-Gisovu Tea Factory in Karongi District was, on Wednesday, officially handed over to the UK-based Borelli Tea Holdings limited.

During the handover, an agreement was signed with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Rwanda Tea Authority (OCIR-THE) to provisionary enter the company into management and control of the factory with immediate effect.

Borelli acquired 60 percent shares at $2.4m. The remaining shares were retained by the government (30%) and farmers (10%).

After the signing, it was announced that other pending formalities in terms of the agreement would be completed in due course. Borelli, owns more than 60 tea factories in other countries, including, Uganda, Vietnam, and India.

Hundreds of Karongi residents witnessed the handover ceremony that was held at the factory.

Shortly after receiving the handover report, Dilsher Sen, the Director of Borelli, thanked the government for the trust and confidence vested into them, promising full commitment.

“We have a long-term commitment to invest in Rwanda and we will continuously portray the good image of Rwandan tea worldwide,” he said.

Dilsher revealed that his company harvests over 100 million Kgs annually and employs over 100,000 workers in all their operations.

He acknowledged that Rwanda has excellent quality tea to ensure optimum return for all the stakeholders.

Dr Daniel Ufitikirezi, the head of Assets and Business Management at RDB, urged the farmers to cooperate with the new managers of the factory.

Anthony Butera, the Director General of OCIR-THE, explained that the privatization of the tea factory aimed at attracting investment to develop the sector.

“Other than attracting better management and new technologies that can enhance tea production, the takeover will increase job opportunities in the rural sector,” he said.

Gisovu tea factory started in 1983 with a capacity to produce 13 tonnes of tea. Last year, over 200 tonnes were produced.