The National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) has kicked off a campaign to distribute fertilisers to coffee farmers across the country. The exercise, which was launched on Tuesday in Kigeyo sector, Rutsiro District, targets to distribute more than 4,200 tonnes of NPK fertilisers to coffee farmers to improve production, the NAEB deputy chief executive officer, Jean Claude Kayisinga, said.
“Our target is to double the production capacity from three kilogrammes per tree to more than six kilogrammes by adopting modern farming practices, including application of fertilisers,” he said.
Gaspard Byukusenge, the Rutsiro District mayor, said the campaign is timely and will help enhance coffee output and farmers’ incomes. In Rutsiro District, farmers already received 264 tonnes of fertilisers and 577 litres of pesticides. NAEB has so far distributed over 3,000 tonnes of fertilisers.
“This year alone CEPAR bought 3,000 tonnes of fertilisers and 5000 litres of pesticide for 2016 season A,” Dr Celestin Gatarayiha, the head of the coffee chain division at NAEB, said in a recent interview with this publication.
Rwanda’s coffee export revenue dropped by 21 per cent in July due to a decline in international prices, according to NAEB. Coffee is one of the leading sources of foreign exchange earners for Rwanda, and the crop is also a source of income for some 400,000 farmers across the country.