M a r k e t N e w s

Increased coffee production to boost economic growth CEPAR

Posted on : Thursday, 11th August 2016

The president of Coffee Exporters and Processors Association of Rwanda (CEPAR), has said coffee is a key ingredient in achieving sustainable development.
Pierre Munyura Kamere said the Association was formed in 2010 to increase coffee production which is being implemented through the establishment of the fertilizer fund. The fund was initially implemented by National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB).
One of CEPAR’s objectives is to promote and market coffee products in the country and beyond and it already exports almost 75% of Rwanda’s coffee. The 20 members of the association buy and distribute fertilizers to farmers so that they can increase the coffee productivity in the country.
Munyura noted that the first achievement of CEPAR is advocacy since it’s now a recognized entity by both the government and the Private Sector Federation (PSF).
Another achievement is the establishment of the fertilizer fund. Before it was set up, NAEB was responsible for buying and distributing fertilizers. This was quite challenging as farmers could fail to pay on time.
There were also delays in purchasing fertilizers due to bureaucracy in government institutions. When CEPAR took over the buying last August, the association was able to purchase 2500 metric tons of fertilizers. These were distributed among all coffee farmers and applied across the country in just one month.
“Rwanda is generally growing economically and socially. However, rural areas are not growing at the same pace as the urban areas; the coffee sector is one of the factors which will promote a balanced growth,” he said.
Increasing productivity
Statistics in Kenya indicate that each coffee tree can produce two kilograms of washed coffee compared to 0.5 and 0.7% in Rwanda. Munyura says this shows that there is still great potential to increase coffee production in the country.
However, in the EAC region, Rwanda sells more coffee on the international market after Kenya.
“Although we have done a lot in promoting our coffee, there is need to do more to compete favorably on the international market,” Munyura said.
One of the key challenges faced by coffee processors and exporters is unstable international market. Fluctuation of prices affects sales and farmers’ and exporters’ plans as well.
Munyura stresses that the only way to address this challenge is to increase the percentage of Rwandans who consume coffee. He gives an example of Ethiopia, Brazil and Colombia where nationals consume more than 50% of the locally produced coffee.
Currently Rwandans only consume 2% of their coffee while 98% is exported.
“Increased productivity is one way through which prices can be mitigated. I’m optimistic productivity can be doubled within two to three years from now, adds Munyura.
He encourages Rwandans in the coffee business to be more professional and produce high quality coffee.
Munyura, who is also the managing director of Mibirizi Coffee and Food Stuffs (MICOF), currently runs four coffee washing stations. He fully owns two and co-owns two more with the cooperatives.
He started dealing in 2004 and last year, he worked with five cooperatives and they exported around 300 metric tons of coffee.


Source : www.focus.rw
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