Rwanda reduces coffee forecast by 23 percent on drought

KIGALI (Bloomberg) - Rwanda reduced its coffee production forecast by 23 percent after a drought cut yields, the Rwanda Coffee Development Authority said. Output of the beans is now expected to be 20,000 metric tons, down from the 26,000 tons estimated in August, Pontieu Munyankera, head of the authority’s planning department, said in an interview today in the capital, Kigali.

KIGALI (Bloomberg) - Rwanda reduced its coffee production forecast by 23 percent after a drought cut yields, the Rwanda Coffee Development Authority said.

Output of the beans is now expected to be 20,000 metric tons, down from the 26,000 tons estimated in August, Pontieu Munyankera, head of the authority’s planning department, said in an interview today in the capital, Kigali.

“This is because of drought in growing areas in the southern and eastern provinces,” he said. The East African nation produced 14,250 tons of coffee in 2009, according to the National Bank of Rwanda.

Rwanda has produced about 16,000 tons so far this year, earning about $46 million from sales, Munyankera said. “We may earn another $5 million in coffee exports in the remaining months of the year.”

The country expects to plant 14 million coffee trees before the year ends as part of a planting program to plant 28 million trees, Munyankera said.

Rwanda, which mainly produces the arabica variety of beans, plans to boost coffee production to 40,000 tons a year by 2011 through wider planting and improved farming techniques. Starbucks Corp., the world’s largest coffee shop chain, is the biggest buyer of Rwanda’s coffee.

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