Lord Sainsbury Interested in Rwanda Tea Sector

|   RAB News

“I would like to help Rwanda achieve,” stated Lord Sainsbury at a meeting held with Hon. Minister Kalibata at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) on 25 January 2012, regarding his interest in the tea industry and Strategic Capacity Building Initiative through the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI).

Lord Sainsbury is the founder of Gatsby Trust, a philanthropic organization, a former Minister in the United Kingdom, and the former Chairman of the retailer J. Sainsbury. He supported AGI through 2011 and is now looking to support farmers in the tea industry in partnership with the Wood Family Trust.

Sainsbury’s vision is to give Rwandan tea growers a larger stake in the industry by helping them to buy shares in tea processing facilities and improving management capacity through the hiring of skilled management in the industry. This model has worked in a few places and Lord Sainsbury hopes it can work in Rwanda.

Minister Kalibata appreciated the proposal and due diligence on the tea industry in Rwanda. She stressed that the privatization procedure includes a bidding process and advised him to complete this process. “The more farmers earn money, the more tea will grow. This is a good opportunity for the sector and although the proposal is new it is also in line with government initiatives,” concluded Minister Kalibata.