BUJUMBURA (Reuters) - Burundi's tea export revenues for February were up 19 percent this year on higher sales which offset lower prices, a tea board official said on Tuesday.
Tea is the country's second largest foreign exchange earner after coffee and supports some 300,000 smallholder farmers in a nation of 8 million people.
The state-run tea board (OTB) said it collected $1.95 million versus $1.64 million a year earlier as exports rose to 703,387 kg from 537,368 kg.
"Tea sold in February was produced in January and end of December, a period where the harvest of tea leaves was good following good rains," said OTB export official Joseph Marc Ndahigeze.
The export average price per kg fell to $2.78 from $3.06 in 2011, a fall which the tea board attributed to a high quantity of tea available on the regional market in February this year.
Landlocked Burundi exports 80 percent of its tea through a regional weekly auction held in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa.
In 2011 export revenues rose to $22.2 million from $18.2 million a year earlier.