NAEB in new drive to boost coffee consumption

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THE National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) has started a countrywide campaign to boost coffee production and consumption.

 The new campaign is part of the 2017 Rwanda Coffee day, which is being held under the theme “Gusangira kawa y’u Rwanda tubigire Umuco Iwacu!”

  It is also part of the strategies to promote Made in Rwanda campaign aimed at boosting local production.

 According to Dr. Celestin Gatarayiha, the head of the coffee division at NAEB, sensitising farmers to embrace good agricultural and post-harvest practices will increase productivity and enhance coffee quality.

 Garayiha added that the top priority is promoting local consumption of coffee as well as establishing value addition businesses in order to increase access to coffee beverage across the country.

  Meanwhile, sector experts have called for more efforts to address the mindset of people who think drinking coffee is a foreign culture, not for Rwandans. About 99 per cent of coffee produced in Rwanda is consumed abroad leaving only 1 per cent for locals.

 In a recent interview with The New Times, Jose Kawashima, the representative director and president of All for Coffee Limited, a Japan-based global coffee company, said its imperative for Rwanda to boost its local market for homegrown coffee as an alternative to the growing   global   coffee market competition.

NAEB has been emphasizing value addition and encouraging farmers and co-operatives to take advantage of coffee washing stations to enhance quality.

Coffee is a key export crop of Rwanda and has contributed an average of 24 per cent to total agricultural exports over the last decade. Over 400,000 farmers across the country derive their livelihood from the coffee sector.

 Experts say there is hope that increase in domestic consumption of coffee will contribute towards stabilising the effect of price fluctuations emanating from global market. 

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Rwanda’s coffee export revenues and volumes recorded during the last financial year fell below projections.

 The country realised $58.5 million (Rwf49.7 billion) from coffee exports during the last financial year (July 2016 to June 2017), below $60.7 million (Rwf51.6 billion) registered during the previous fiscal year, indicating a 3.61 per cent drop in earnings.

This was also lower than $67.8 million (Rwf57.6 billion) the agro-exports body had projected to earn from the beans during the reporting period.

The drop was despite a relatively better price on the global market, averaging $3.16 (Rwf2, 686) per kilogramme compared to $3.10 (Rwf2, 635) per kilogramme the year before.

NAEB attributed the drop in coffee export receipts to the low coffee volumes sold in the period under review. The country exported 18,502,442 kilogrammes of coffee against 19,560,636 kilos sold in 2015/16 fiscal year (FY). This was a decrease of 5.41 per cent year-on-year.

At a glance

Coffee is a key export crop of Rwanda and has contributed an average of 24 per cent to total agricultural exports over the last decade. Over 400,000 farmers across the country derive their livelihood from the coffee sector.