The Director General of the Coffee Development Authority (OCIR-CAFÉ), Alex Kanyankore, has announced that the target for coffee production for this year has been lowered from 26,000 to 20,000 tonnes.
He mainly attributed this to the extended dry spell in some parts of the country which has affected production of one of the major foreign exchange earners of the country.
Speaking to The New Times on phone, Kanyankore said that as of this month, the coffee produced so far is worth around $44 million, saying that they expect the annual income from the crop not to go beyond $50 million.
“Our target was to produce 26,000 tons this year but I think we will not be able to achieve this because of several factors; one of them being that the coffee flower patterns were not optimal as we had expected due to the dry spell,” Kanyankore said.
He added that they got ample production in the Western Province, but their targets were not met in the Southern and Eastern provinces.
In the Eastern Province he singled out the districts of Kirehe and Ngoma which experienced long dry seasons.
Kanyankore said that every year Rwanda earns between 40 and 50 million dollars from coffee, depending on the production they get which in most cases, is based on precipitation.
“All I can say is that we tried our best in as far as achieving our set targets is concerned, but even the 26,000 tones target was a bit high to achieve,” Kanyankore said.
He also noted that next year, they intend to realize more production through the use of fertilizers and planting more coffee seedlings in various parts of the country.