Coffee farmers urged to improve quality

The National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB) has advised farmers to increase Arabic Coffee quality to boost its competitiveness on the global market.
Farmers and district officials at the coffee quality workshop in Rwamagana yesterday.  The New Times/ Stephen Rwembeho
Farmers and district officials at the coffee quality workshop in Rwamagana yesterday. The New Times/ Stephen Rwembeho

The National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB) has advised farmers to increase Arabic Coffee quality to boost its competitiveness on the global market.

Addressing coffee cooperatives members in Rwamagana district, yesterday, NAEB deputy director-general Corneil Ntakirutimana urged the farmers to go beyond quantity.

He said despite some adverse weather conditions, proper use of fertilisers is still wanting, noting that coffee resistance to dry weather is second to none.

He advised owners of coffee washing stations to avoid losses by sensitising farmers on quality maintenance.

“We want to increase fully washed coffee from 35 per cent to 40 per cent. Factories must adhere to our directives,” he said.

Ntakirutimana assured farmers that NAEB would implement measures designed to improve the quality of coffee in the country.

Coffee factories, whose quality declined last year, are still stuck with coffee beans in their store.

Meanwhile, Arabica Coffee farmers are staring at poor year as global prices fell before the new harvest season begins.

The local farm gate price for coffee cherries has moved downwards to Rwf143 from Rwf202 per kilogramme. Prices for raw coffee continued a downward trajectory last year, according to data compiled by the International Coffee Organisation.

The organisation said the average price dropped to nearly 26 per cent last year compared to 2011.

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