Unilever to invest $50 mln in tea factory in Rwanda

KIGALI, May 10 (Reuters) - Unilever Plc’s < Rwandan subsidiary plans to invest up to $50 million to set up a tea processing factory, develop two tea estates and support small-scale producers in the African country, it said on Tuesday.

Anglo-Dutch consumer goods maker Unilever, which owns the Lipton tea brand, set up a subsidiary in Rwanda in 2014.

Unilever Rwanda said in a statement that the investment would involve developing 4,000 acres of tea plantations and aimed to create 2,000 jobs.

Tea is one of Rwanda’s main agricultural exports besides coffee.

Tony Nsanganira, Rwandan state minister for agriculture, told Reuters separately that the factory should be completed within five years and would have an annual production capacity of 6,000 tonnes of tea.

Nsanganira said Rwanda produced 25,700 tonnes of tea in 2015, earning around $72 million. (Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Susan Fenton)