In its 8 years of operation the Project for Rural Income through Export PRICE has attained significant milestones in improving cash crops for export namely Coffee, Tea, Fruits and Vegetables, plus Sericulture and essential oils. This has progressively changed livelihoods with recordable success stories and lessons learned.
The project is being financed by IFAD, Government of Rwanda, beneficiaries and Private Sector. It’s almost running in the lane of completion phase. To review the impact of the project’s activities on different sectors, we had to start with coffee, a cash crop introduced before any else of the same loop (1890s).
In a certain Kabuye suburb of Gatsibo district, Remera sector, we recently visited a farmer called MUGABO Jean Claude, 51. He reaps cash from coffee since 2006. His career of the kind only started with 1,400 coffee trees. From there, he now has 6,125. “It’s a high output compared to previous years.” He said. He did not know PRICE Project, until one of his friends, whom he doesn’t remember the name, told him in a bar that he had heard about a project which works with NAEB ready to support farmers engaged in export cash crops, coffee included. It was in 2013.
With PRICE, MUGABO said that his output increased season after season because of enforcement lessons provided to him and his co-farmers by PRICE project. Last year he sold 10 Metric Tons of coffee where he got Two Million Rwandan Francs as income.
In Bushobora village, another side of Remera sector in Gatsibo district resides KAGIRINKA Cecile, aged 64. When she talks about PRICE, one would think she is employed by the project. As hope glimmers on her face, she undoubtedly recalls every single support the project provided her with. “We were uplifted from a non-definition life, to having our children schooled among the top ranking colleges in the country.” She witnessed through a pictured narration.
“We used to grow coffee as traditionally as our grand-parents used to. We didn’t know we could reach a stage where buyers ‘d seek our production, instead of the other way round.” She happily narrates.
KAGIRINKA said that without PRICE aid she couldn’t make it. She started cultivating coffee in 1984. Before she could make it to FFS (Farmer Field School), a program initiated by PRICE Project, she could only 800Kg with all means applied. After graduating from the school – free of charge, she got ranked among the best performers whereby her production increased to 2 tons with no additional trees. She can get more than 1,600,000Rwf of revenues if nothing goes bad.