Pfunda Tea Factory

During the rainy season, at the height of production, the Pfunda Tea Factory processes 60 tonnes of tea from the surrounding plantations daily. Guided tours follow the tea production from arrival of the green leaf through to the withering, cutting, drying and sorting stages, before it is packaged for shipment to Mombasa (Kenya). The factory is about 5km from town and most easily reached by moto-taxi (RFr500 for locals but you'll most likely pay double that).

We ended our trip at the Pfunda Tea Company factory. Two thousand people work on the Pfunda Tea Estate, and the company also runs a cooperative for area tea farmers. All the tea is raised without pesticides, and, in February 2011, Pfunda Tea Company became the first company in Rwanda to obtain Rainforest Alliance certification. One hundred and fifty people work 8 hours shifts in the tea factory, day and night. They will produce over 4.4 million lbs. (or 2 million kgs.) of black tea this year. The climate, altitude, and soil of the area is excellent for growing high-quality tea. Waste water from the tea processing is diverted to a garden pool and treated with "Effective Microorganisms," a product that cleans water and eliminates bad odors with a combination of microorganisms that were collected and cultivated naturally.

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