Rwandan coffee exporters have teamed up into an association that will assist in carrying out advocacy both locally and on the global market.
Robert Bayigamba, the Chairman, Board of Directors of the Private Sector Federation (PSF) said the association will help coffee exporters produce high quality coffee and improve prices.
“As Rwanda, we are not only competing in the region but also internationally hence the need to improve our coffee to enable it to compete with global coffee producers like Brazil and Ethiopia,” said Bayigamba.
He however emphasized that farmers and exporters should focus more on the quality of coffee other than quantity if they are to compete since Rwanda cannot beat world producers in quantity.
“The cohesion among exporters should be exploited to enable you to negotiate with government and banks in order to overcome challenges faced in your business,” explained Bayigamba.
It is also expected that with coffee exports being managed in associations, the quantity of coffee exported will significantly increase.
Rwanda exports 20,000 tons of coffee every year. Last year coffee exports reached 15,000 tons, and Ocir-Thé targets 20,000 tons this year.
The farmers’ price per kilogram has been improving since 2003; from Rwf 100 to over Rwf 1000 per kilogram.