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International Coffee Day: A look into the journey of Rwanda's Coffee

Coffee was first introduced to Rwanda in 1893 by Germany missionaries. At this time, Adolf von Gotzen who represented the Catholic Church in Rusizi District, Western Province, introduced the crop theoretically until 1904 when the first tree was planted in Gashonga sector in the same District.

In 1930s, coffee production greatly increased, from Rusizi to Nyamasheke (Western Province) and later to Huye district in Southern Province.

It became the sole cash crop for the country until 1952 when tea was introduced. The interest in this cash crop emerged quickly since it was the first source of revenues for the country.

During the 1970s and 1980s, as world coffee prices rose, coffee exports provided between 60 and 80 percent of Rwanda’s export revenue. All coffee production from Rwanda was at this time being exported ordinarily through one company - Rwandex.

Coffee has long dominated tea and pyrethrum (which was introduced in 1963) - remaining the main cash crop for the country. 

Today, Rwandan coffee is increasingly recognized as a high-quality product, one for which renowned coffee companies around the world give top accolades. This is attributed to the favorite climate of the country with natural biodiversity.

Currently, 62% of Rwandan coffee is exported fully washed - thanks to 309 coffee washing stations across the country. In 1994, there was solely one coffee washing stations.

The number of coffee exporters has also risen to 70 majority Rwandans. This transformation is attributed to the reform initiated by the Government of Rwanda in the sector to increase export revenues and farmers' income.

Currently, coffee is produced by 355,771 Rwandan farmers on 40,356 hectares.

From July 2018 to June 2019, Rwanda produced 22,385,838Kg, exported 21,654,088Kg and generated USD $68,763,924.

Rwandan Coffee has grown to become one of the leading specialty cups for coffee connoisseurs around the world. This is a result of constant improvements in production and processing standards.

We recognize the efforts of farmers and the consumers who have made this journey a success.

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