The amount of coffee produced in Rwanda has increased since 2011; however statistics indicate that the earnings have drastically dropped. The decline has been attributed to the dwindling international market prices.
The income dropped to $60.9m (about Rwf38.4b) in 2012 from $73m the previous year. The production has steadily increased due to the privatization process, introduction of coffee washing machines-from 2 machines in 2002 to 210 machines now.
According to statistics from the National Agricultural Export Board, 16,989 tonnes of coffee were exported between January and December 2012, with the total annual production at 21,000 tonnes. This compares to 16,000tonnes produced in 2011.
In 2012, 6,900 tonnes of washed coffee beans were produced, of which 5,500 tonnes were exported, bringing in $23.789m, compared to 32 tonnes in 2002.
The Director General of the National Agricultural Export Board, Alex Kanyankole says that this decline will be addressed continuing to promote value addition and improving quality to give the country’s coffee as leverage for competing at international markets, and subsequent increase in coffee revenues.
The agricultural board is planning on the rehabilitation of coffee plantations and providing farmers with quality seeds, and competitive coffee growing that is rewarded through that annual ‘Cup of Excellence’
Farmers say that the drop in prices between (Rwf200 and Rwf300) and this has affected their incomes and welfare, but they still remain committed to bring out the best coffee on the world market.
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