On the eighth day God created coffee

First the bad news. The grenade terrorist struck again this time targeting the South-West with an attack on Kamembe in Cyangugu [Rusizi] that injured 21 people. A few days prior to this attack, the trial of suspects from previous grenades attacks had been in the news.
Oscar Kabatende
Oscar Kabatende

First the bad news. The grenade terrorist struck again this time targeting the South-West with an attack on Kamembe in Cyangugu [Rusizi] that injured 21 people. A few days prior to this attack, the trial of suspects from previous grenades attacks had been in the news.

This attack seemed to be a defiant statement from the grenade terrorist that s/he wasn’t done yet and that the threat wasn’t over just yet.

Looked at differently, attacking Cyangugu shows that the saturation patrols by the Police and Army in Kigali city are making it difficult for the terrorist to hit at public transportation in the city as usual. It may have been easier to hit at the innocent in a town that is furthest away from the capital. Terrible as the attack was, the grenade terrorist appears to be on the retreat. Here’s to wishing the victims a speedy recovery from their unfortunate injuries.

Now the good news. The prices of tea were increased by the Ministry of Agriculture [I did not know they set the prices, what happened to free market?] by 15%. Some will of course be upset that their favourite cup is going to cost a little more.

What with the way costs are rising all round, the fans of the wet leaf must have been hoping that their beloved tea would cost the same, never mind that the milk and sugar already cost more.

 If you have not guessed it by now from the title, I’m a huge fan of coffee who thinks that tea, to put it politely, is a lower life form. How anyone can consume large quantities of a hot beverage that is all milk and 100 spoons of sugar with a pinch of tea is something I can never understand.

Whatever my personal thoughts on tea and its consumption in this country, it is a popular drink for many. The thousands of tea drinkers are going to find bad news in this increase of prices of tea leaves so why do I think it’s a good thing?

Other than my obvious bias for coffee – God made coffee on day eight – and the fact that tea farmers are getting a fairer price for their efforts, perhaps this price increase will cause people to give coffee a second look.

Despite being one of the top three forex earners of the country [the others being tourism and tea], there is hardly any domestic consumption of coffee in the country. The sight of instant coffee packaged abroad as your only coffee option in most places is like a flag of surrender for the local coffee market.

When did coffee become the drink that was consumed by those that import it and not those that grow it or live around it? In the price increase of tea, there is the smallest glimmer of hope that a small number may switch to coffee and give our growers a slight boost.

As a parting line, let’s talk about the recent stories about Rwanda’s success in population control. One of the great things about this country is that 80% of the news is usually positive. Never  a depressing moment in this country.

okabatende@gmail.com

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