Figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) have shown that tea output and revenue drastically declined in the second half of 2020, fetching K2.449 billion.
In 2017, tea, which is the second top export earner, raked in K10 billion compared to K12 billion the country realised from the commodity in 2018.
In July 2020, the crop fetched K310.310 million, an amount slightly lower than K441.980 million it earned August.
The revenue picked up to K462 million and K539 million in September and October 2020, respectively.
The revenue, however, dropped to K380 million in November then started picking up to K385 million in December 2020.
Commenting on the trend in an interview Thursday, agriculturalist Tamani Nkhono Mvula said it was not surprising that the sales do not look appealing because the Covid pandemic has disturbed trading patterns.
Mvula then said there is a need to promote quality tea production in the country if revenue were to surge.
“We are facing a lot of competition from countries like Kenya, China and India; therefore, for us to maintain our market share, we should make sure that we improve on the quality of the tea and we should also encourage the participation of other players such as smallholder farmers,” he said.
Tea Association of Malawi Chairperson Sangwani Munthali attributed the drop in revenue to a drop in output during the year under review.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.