In collaboration with stakeholders in the coffee value chain through Rwanda Ikawa Nziza Cyane (INC), TechnoServe has embarked on a two-year initiative spanning various sectors and involving different coffee factories.
Elijah Townsend, Technoserve Regional Program Director, emphasized the organization’s efforts to provide knowledge aligned with quality standardization, ensuring the continued prominence of Rwandan coffee.
According to figures from the Rwanda Coffee Industry Corporation (RCIC), the country has gained a reputation for coffee exports. Statistics reveal that Rwanda exported 22,000 tons of coffee in 2022, generating $100 million (over Rwf100 billion).
TechnoServe has presented regulations aimed at supporting coffee processing firms in Rwanda to maintain quality standards. The organization is urging collective efforts to ensure the success of these initiatives.
Bernard Uwitije, the Managing Director of Trapro Coffee Washing Stations in Nyamagabe, expressed appreciation for the benefits derived from TechnoServe’s initiative. However, he acknowledged persistent challenges, including difficulties in reaching international standards and inadequate profits for farmers compared to market values.
The National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) reported that Rwanda exported 18,621 tons of coffee, generating $92.3 million in the first ten months of 2023. This marked a 37.1% increase in exported volume and a 43.3% increase in value compared to previous figures.
Francis Twagirayesu, Quality Assurance & Regulatory Division Manager at NAEB, outlined the challenges in adding value to Rwandan coffee. He stressed the importance of attracting partners and investors to enhance the monetary value of exported coffee, ensuring that it carries the "Made in Rwanda" label with high-quality standards.
Coffee, constituting 15% of Rwanda’s exports, has created employment opportunities for over 2 million people. The country aims to export 30,000 tons of coffee valued at $140 million, with a strategic focus on expanding market presence in Asia and the Middle East.