BLANTYRE (Reuters) - Production of tea, Malawi’s second largest export commodity after tobacco, rose 6 percent to 45.6 million kilograms in 2017 from 43 million kilograms registered in the preceding year, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) said in a report.
In a monthly economic report ending December 2017, the central bank said that exports increased to $14.5 million, up from $11.9 million in 2016.
“Tea prices averaged $1.83 per kilogram in 2017, while tea prices averaged $1.55 per kilogram in 2016,” according to the report.
Tea production is dominated by commercial farmers who cultivate 18,000 hectares in the southern Malawi highland districts of Mulanje and Thyolo, while a small percentage (650 hectares) is grown in the northern Lake Malawi shores of Nkhata Bay.
Malawi exports its tea to the Britain, South Africa, the United States, Canada, Pakistan and the Middle East.
Reporting by Frank Phiri, editing by Louise Heavens