Rwanda’s coffee output may climb 13 percent in 2010

Rwanda’s coffee production this year may climb 13 percent to 27,000 metric tonnes because of improved weather conditions, the Rwanda Coffee Development Authority said.

Rwanda’s coffee production this year may climb 13 percent to 27,000 metric tonnes because of improved weather conditions, the Rwanda Coffee Development Authority said.
Output may rise from a provisional 24,000 tonnes last year to 27,000 this year officials at the Gikondo based parastatal indicated.

Last year the Coffee authority reduced its output forecast from an earlier estimate of 28,000 tonnes because of a drought which affected all growing regions.

The 2009 output was an improvement on the 22,000 tonnes grown the previous year, the authority said. 

During a recent interview with the Business Times, Alex Kanyankole, the Director General of Ocir-café, said that 2008 was a year of a boom, last year was a year of a lower circle and this year is going to be another boom.

He explained that it  is  the usual trend of coffee production.

Last year’s coffee revenues also dropped by 9.5 percent to $42m (Rwf23.8b) from $46m (Rwf26.1b) the previous year due to low harvest levels of coffee beans.

Harvesting in Rwanda, which mainly produces the Arabica variety, is done  from March to July. Rwanda exports more than 98 percent of its crop in the form of green beans, the authority said.

The government owned parastatal is targeting $100 million (Rwf56.7 billion) in foreign exchange earnings from 35,000 tonnes of coffee exports by 2012 through wider planting and improved farming techniques.

Last year the parastatal distributed 40 million seedlings to farmers in 2008 and a further 10 million last year, he said.
Next month 10 delegates from Rwanda are expected to attend the seventh coffee farmers’ conference due this year. 

The annual event, which is expected to take place in Mombasa, Kenya, from February 11 to 13, will bring together coffee farmers from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania and other professionals from around the world.

The seventh coffee farmers’ conference brings together African coffee farmers, roasters and exporters.

Late last year, Coffee farmers were assured loans worth Rwf4 billion this season to boast their farms by Rwanda Development Bank (BRD).

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