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Rwanda, JICA sign a 5-year coffee value chain strengthening agreement

On June 3, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Government of Rwanda represented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), National Agriculture Export Development Board (NAEB) and Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) signed an agreement on a 5-year coffee value chain strengthening and promoting technical cooperation project. The Permanent Secretary of MINAGRI with the representatives of NAEB and RAB, and Chief Representative of JICA Rwanda signed the agreement at MINAGRI’s Boardroom at 15:00pm.

This project is the second phase of the coffee cooperation started in May 2017 to enhance the capacity of key stakeholders along a coffee value chain in Rwanda and to sustainably improve the quality of Rwandan coffee to compete on high-end international coffee markets, including Japanese and other high coffee consuming countries’ markets.

This project is expected to sustain the achievements of the first phase, it includes strengthening of “coffee platform”, which is an organized arena of all the coffee value chain stakeholders to promote Rwandan coffee. It will also develop more profitable and higher-quality coffee production model in some coffee farmers’ cooperatives and improve the recognition and marketability of Rwandan coffee in international markets. Among top activities to be conducted, the project is aiming at conducting research, with close collaboration with RAB, on the promising varieties such as Bourbon Mibirizi coffee variety. The variety can contribute to the branding and global competitiveness of Rwandan coffee according to the experience of Japanese coffee expert (Mr. Jose Kawashima, known as a coffee hunter) in the field of promoting local varieties all over the world.  

Coffee plays a major role in Rwandan economy and significantly contributes to the foreign exchange earnings and to the monetization of the rural economy. Coffee accounts for almost 35 % of Rwanda’s total export revenue and provides livelihoods to 400,000 smallholder farmers. The Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation (PSTA IV) aims to increase the annual production from 18,500 MT (2016) to 32,500 MT by 2024. The Project is expected to spearhead the existing efforts of various stakeholders in coffee production and marketing support.