The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on National Budget and Patrimony, Omar Munyaneza, told The New Times that the recently revised national budget will see Rwf76 billion – equivalent to 71 per cent of the additional budget allocated to teachers’ salaries. READ ALSO: All schoolchildren to get meals as government reviews policy The development, he said, is meant to fill the financing gap in teachers’ salaries, as the Government started implementing the decision to increase their pay when the execution of the approved budget had already started. In the mid-term budget review, the government intends to increase its spending by 2.3 per cent to over Rwf4,764 billion, from the initial over Rwf4,658 billion that was approved by Parliament in June 2022. In August 2022, the Government announced a move to increase the salary of primary school teachers by 88 per cent and that of secondary school teachers by 40 per cent effective the same month, in line with ensuring the quality of education. READ ALSO: Rwanda’s coffee exports to UAE set to grow The number of primary school teachers rose by 45 per cent from 41,573 in 2017 to over 60,000 as of August 2022, according to data shared by Prime Minister, Edouard Ngirente on Monday, August 1, while presenting to Parliament the Government activities in basic education under the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1). For secondary school teachers, the Premier indicated, they increased from 21,000 in 2017 to about 28,500 as of August 2022, implying a 35.7 per cent increment. While presenting the proposed revised budget to Parliament on February 8, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana, said that the additional funds will mainly go into the social sector, chiefly education and agriculture. “The additional spending will among others support key recurrent expenditures, such as increase of the number of teachers and their salaries, supporting universal school feeding programs, and additional fertilisers to boost coffee production, he said. Here is a breakdown of how the additional funds are set to be spent. Rwf21.5bn for school feeding Another area that will benefit from the additional funds is the school feeding programme, where the Government wants to increase the capacity of schools to provide meals to all students. MP Munyaneza said school feeding was allocated Rwf21.5 billion as a share of the additional spending. Meanwhile, over Rwf42 billion was earmarked for the school feeding programme in the initial budget under review. With this data, the combined financing for this programme would be over Rwf63 billion, if Parliament approves the proposed revised budget. According to the 2020-2021 education statistical yearbook published by the Ministry of Education in February 2022, there were almost 3.5 million students in public and Government-subsidised schools from nursery, primary, and secondary levels. Rwf4.7bn for coffee yield Minister Ndagijimana said they are allocated over Rwf4.7 billion for fertilisers to boost coffee production, especially because many coffee trees are old and will give yield when fertiliser is applied. He indicated that the move is intended to achieve higher coffee production for exports, “because prices are good at the market, yet we have insufficient coffee yield,” pointing out that prices of coffee went up by 40.4 per cent at the international market in 2022 compared to 2021. According to formal trade data from the National Bank of Rwanda and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, in the January-November 2022 period, Rwanda’ coffee exports generated $69.4million. These data show that the country’s coffee export revenues registered an increase of 19 per cent compared to $58.3million they had fetched in the January 2021 period. The increase is attributed to a 40.4 per cent rise in coffee price to $6.12 a kilogramme in 2022, against $4.36 in 2021, according to data from the National Agricultural Exports Development Board (NAEB). For volume, the quantity of traded coffee from January to November 2022, registered a decrease of 15.3 per cent, as 11,326 tonnes were exported compared to 13,369 tonnes in the same period of 2021.