KARONGI - Coffee production in the Western Province significantly fell by close to 40% this year, compared to the previous year, officials have said.
A recent report indicates that last year the province produced a total of 16, 435 tonnes while the output drastically reduced to only 9947 tonnes this year.
The reduction was attributed to the breakdown of a number of coffee washing stations in the province.
Out of 59 stations in the province, 17 had broken down which were unable to undertake production.
It was also noted that 26% of the seedlings planted never matured to be harvested.
Officials from The Rwanda Coffee Development Authority (OCIR CAFE) have however expressed optimism to turn around the results.
Speaking to The New Times shortly after presenting the report to provincial leaders, Protais Hakizimana, the provincial supervisor of OCIR CAFÉ, said that there is no cause for alarm since strategies have been laid down to reverse the situation.
“We have set a programme to sensitise farmers on the best methods of farming including the use of inputs to boost yields,” Hakizimana said.
It was also indicated that farmers in Rubavu District near the shores of Lake Kivu are most affected by pests which attack the coffee seeds.
The Provincial Governor, Celestin Kabahizi called for a quick intervention from the concerned authorities to reverse the downward trend.
“If we will harvest poorly this year, it means we shall even go even lower unless special measure are put in place to have this trend corrected,” Kabahizi said.