Rwanda has earned $15 million (Frw8.1 billion) from 5.512 tonnes of coffee exports in the first half of this year, says the Rwanda Coffee Authority. The increase is almost double from $6.8 million (Frw3.68 billion) of the 3.193 tonnes exported last year.
The government-owned coffee supervising body said the increase is because of the timely application of fertilizers and pesticides, mulching and pruning by farmers.
Alex Kanyankole, Rwanda Coffee Authority director general, told journalists on Wednesday that the attractive prices offered to the farmers also played a role.
He said that their sales target is $50.9 million (Frw27.6 billion), an increase from last year’s total sales of $30.2 million (Frw16.4 billion). This will be generated from 28,000 tonnes of coffee.
Though the Ocir Café is $10 million (Frw5.4 billion) shy of meeting half their goal in the first six months of the year, Kanyankole said he is optimistic that the authority will meet its target by the end of the year saying that much output and revenue will be generated towards the end of the second half.
He said 25 per cent of what they will export this year is specialty coffee—coffee with zero defects which are not affected by price fluctuations on the international market.
Recently the sector faced challenges resulting from untimely application of fertilisers, untimely mulching and pruning by the coffee growers and smuggling of fertilizers by the coffee growers to the neighbouring countries.
Kanyankole said that the challenges are being addressed by educating the coffee farmers.