At least 40 people representing 14 cooperatives and unions that produce, process and export coffee in Rwanda are being trained to meet the requirements of treating coffee products before being sent to the European buyers.
This is being done through a two days training and coaching from 15-16 October 2019, organized by the CBI programme Specialty Coffee Rwanda in the partnership with AgriProFocus Rwanda and National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB).
In the export training and coaching programmes, CBI helps companies get ready for exporting to the European market. It provides coaching on marketing, sales, meeting the requirements of European buyers and introduces companies to European buyer through trade fairs or sales missions.
Linking companies in coffee sector with the EU market is very important as they need collaboration with buyers so as to boost their export and act in a professional way, the AgriProFocus Rwanda Country Coordinator, Uwizeye Alex, noted.
“Selling on EU market is not easy; it’s an open market to many countries. If we meet Brazilians there, Kenyans and others countries that grow coffee, we need to be competent for our coffee to enter the supermarkets there. It requires standards in treatment of coffee from farm to the stage of consumption. This training is very crucial because learning is a process. We need them to be up to date on new technics of fighting new pests, on new technologies among others”, he said.
The participants will be supported to go to Netherlands to meet coffee business people there and build collaboration later this month. They will also attend the trade fair in Poland in 2020 so as to be well connected to European market.
NAEB Division Manager Export Market Development and Innovation, Cynthia Uwacu, said that such training is of great importance, as it focuses on capacity building that coffee growers and companies need to understand the market and buyers.
Ngarambe Axel, the Quality Control and Marketing Officer of Teuscher Invest Ltd whose brand is Kivubelt Coffee, in Nyamasheke District, said they will benefit from the training.
“Sometimes for our products to be sold there were middlemen but through the skills we get from this training we can sell ourselves all our coffee. We shall reach the buyers from diverse markets, for example if we used to sell at the American market, now we are going to reach the European one. Normally only few people in Rwanda were selling on this market.”
While others sell a big volume, Rwandans sell the good quality with the small volume which was hard to enter European market due to the high price to cover the expenses. Once Rwandan coffee is introduced on the European market it will be known and perhaps bought on that price, Ngarambe explained.
Rwanda’s total exports earnings in 2018 grew to $995.7m from 943.5 million in 2017 with the volume of exports growing by 17 per cent to 742,300 tons, according to the Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Statement of February 2019.
Statistics of the National Agricultural Exports Board show that Rwanda’s coffee export revenues increased to more than $ 69 million in 2018 from around $ 64 million the previous year.
The Rwanda export to EU is estimated at $ 37 million (2016). CBI targets at adding EUR 3 million to coffee exports, creating 75 new jobs by supporting 14 coffee enterprises and act on climate adaptation, youth employment, gender and decent jobs.
CBI, the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries, contributes to sustainable and inclusive economic development in developing countries through the expansion of exports from these countries to Europe. It was established in 1971.
AgriProFocus brings together farmers, agribusinesses, civil society, knowledge institutes and governments for cultivating collaboration through linking, learning and leadership. It is operating in Rwand for nine years.
By Emmanuel Kanamugire3