Rwanda: Positive moves are afoot to significantly improve margins on revenues from coffee export in Rwanda by growing a new coffee roasting plant. Once established, the plant will add value to coffee before export, consequently increasing farmers’ earnings. The Government has subsequently announced plans to establish a Rwf700m coffee roasting plant through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
Although the world coffee prices are expected to remain stable due to lower produce among the major coffee producing countries, Rwanda loses out on the lucrative industry because more than 98 per cent of her coffee exports are in the form of green beans which attract lower prices compared to roasted coffee.
On the international market, roasted coffee sells at US$20 per kg while the green beans fetch US$6 per kilo, making the country miss out on US$14 on in every kilogramme exported.
The country this year, targets to bring in US$60m in foreign exchange earnings from coffee exports. The goal is to raise US$100m (Rwf60b) in the subsequent year.
To meet or even exceed the targets, the country needs to embark on the exportation of roasted coffee, which is not only more profitable, but also less exposed to price fluctuations on the international market.
Furthermore, the envisaged roasting plant, which is in line with the national export promotion strategy, will also have a positive impact on the communities engaged in coffee growing.
Source – The New Times – Rwanda – Editorial, October 5, 2011