Coffee farming lifts farmers out of poverty

By Elina Jonas Ruzindaza
On 17 July 2020 at 08:43

Coffee is one of the economic crops grown by over 400,000 Rwandans, many of whom are over the age of 35. The crop has helped improve their livelihoods and lifted them out of poverty.

IGIHE spoke to some residents of the Eastern Province in Gatsibo and Kirehe districts, where they point out how coffee farming has lifted them out of poverty.

Kagirinka Cecile, a 64-year-old resident of Kigarama Village in Rwarenga Cell in Remera Sector, says she started growing coffee in 1985 and cultivated less coffee, a crop that helped her raise her children, pay for their education until all of them graduated and got married.

Kagirinka says in addition to paying for her children’s school fees, she has now renovated her home and bought land in various places and thanks to Project of Rural Income through Exports (PRICE) training through the National Agricultural Exports Development (NAEB).

Ngerageze Straton, a 51-year-old resident of Gahara Sector in Kirehe, says he started growing coffee in 2006 with the help of Price who later joined him in the coffee farmers’ cooperative. He started harvesting coffee for the first time in 2010.

"I started harvesting coffee with 125 kilograms and then I continued to grow as many as 1,000 trees, and PRICE planted for me other 4,300 trees in different places," he added.

Ngerageza says that they dug holes for them, gave them manure and seedlings to plant.

"What shows that I have made progress in this project, I have got Rwf 500,000 and am planning to reap more money next year."

Nyiramahoro Theopiste, director of the Rwanda Coffee Farmers' Cooperative, said PRICE project helped farmers realize the value of coffee where they were helped to plant trees worth over Rwf 150 million on an area of 1,500 hectares across the country.

He said there are currently 86 cooperatives in the country, including 18,700 coffee farmers. PRICE is a rural development project implemented through the National Agricultural Exports Development (NAEB).

Gerageza Straton says he has achieved a lot thanks to coffee
Gashakwabubah Ezekiel says that coffee has lifted him out of poverty
Kagirinka Cecile says coffee helped her raise her children, pay for their education until all of them graduated and got married