This success is attributed to the focus on high quality coffee and the unity of coffee farmers aided by the cooperative societies which has enabled it to compete favourably with products from heavyweights like Columbia, Brazil and Mexico.
The Managing Director at Africa Development Consultant Ltd (ADC), Rebecca Ruzibuka confirmed the unity of coffee farmers saying, “Communities are held together by the self-help principle, locally known as Muganda”.
The various plans and programmes put in place by the Rwandan Small Holder Specialty Coffee Company (RWASHOSCO), the ADC and the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) have contributed to the success story.
Although, with the challenges of climate change, Covid-19 Pandemic and price fluctuation in the international market, it is believed that the farmers, united by the cooperative societies, would survive.
Ruzibuka said that , “By working with the ADC, Rwanda coffee cooperatives have been able to adopt the latest technology in coffee processing and develop skills in book keeping as well as upgrade their record management”.
Some of the types of coffee produced include Café de Maraba – which has been described as world class, Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon and Harrar.
These fine brands of coffee have gone on to win several awards such as Best of the Best and Coffee Lover’s Choice in international competition.
Exports of Rwandan Coffee are majorly to European countries like Belgium, Switzerland, United Kingdom as well as United States of America and Asian markets.
Despite price fluctuation, long value chains, exploitative intermediaries amd limited access toline of credit, climate change, Covid-19 Pandemic, the unity of the coffee farmers with the help of cooperative societies made it a fierce competitor in the international market.
The small community of the farmers is also helped by partners like the US African Development Foundation (USADF) who invest in African grassroots enterprises and social entrepreneurs.