A joint venture by Rwanda Coffee Development Authority (Ocir-café) and The Hunter Foundation have injected $2 million meant for adding value to Rwanda’s coffee exports.
The investment where Ocir-café owns 49 percent shares and The Hunter Foundation a modest 51 percent will seek to improve coffee exports by roasting and packaging the product for exportation.
“The feasibility study has been completed, the environment impact assessment is almost done, the architectural design is ongoing and the marketing contacts have been established and the project is on course,” said Alex Kanyankore the Director General of Ocir-café.
According to the project plan, the coffee roasting and packaging plant whose capacity will be 1,000 tonnes per year will begin its operations early next year. It will be located at Ocir-café’s main compound in Gikondo.
The project will also be tasked to boost the foreign exchange earnings from coffee hence boosting the country’s economy.
With 1,000 tones of value added coffee, it would fetch $10 million for the country while the same amount of green beans has been earning $3.5 million.
“This would see us increase our revenue by three times which is desirable in our economy that still faces trade deficit and we want to increase our value in our exports every year,” added Kanyankore.
Previously, Rwanda has been exporting only one percent of her coffee with value added which were not more than 800 tones of total production.
The factory will also employ 150 people directly and more than 2,000 indirectly since 1,000 tones will be provided by 2,000 coffee farmers. The farmers will also be encouraged to add value to their coffee.
Currently, the farmers earn between 140 to Rwf170 from one kilogram of ripe cherries while on the international market, one kg of ordinary coffee goes for $2 to $2.5 and the fully washed coffee will cash in between $3.5 to $4 per kg.