This conference was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources together with the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) and Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) and in partnership with, Rwanda Development Board, University of Rwanda, Global Knowledge Initiative and Rogers family coffee company. Theme of this coffee Research Symposium was ‘Research and Extension as a drive to enhancing coffee quality and alleviating the potato taste defect in the East Africa”.
Hon. Dr Agnes Kalibata told the participants that it is not by accident that they all met in Kigali. Because the Antestia bug suspected to be responsible of the potato taste defect (PTD) in cofee has no boundaries. She urged the participants to try and identify the really cause of the potato taste defect.
The director general of NAEB Amb. George William Kayonga thanked everyone for honoring the invitation and said this symposium is going to be the learning opportunity for the participants about the PTD and the possible solutions to eradicate it.
The main aim of this symposium was to find the possible solutions for PTD that affects the quality of Rwandan coffee since our competitiveness of Rwanda on international market is by exporting the good quality of fully washed coffee. And this can be achieved by, identifying partners interested in working towards alleviating this problem in coffee, establishing knowledge and information sharing platform on research on PTD, initiating the development of projects for controlling PTD and mobilizing resources for research and extension activities to control PTD and other defects in coffee.
Participants in the symposium come from different countries including Kenya, Burundi, DR Congo, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America.