AGLC (Rwanda & Burundi)
Coffee is the main source of cash income for about one million smallholder farmer households in the Africa Great Lakes region. However coffee plants are threatened by an increasingly prevalent antestia bug infestation that results in potato taste defect (PTD), and the coffee yields are also among the world’s very lowest. The goal of the program is to dramatically reduce the effects of antestia/PTD and raise farm-level productivity. These changes will improve smallholder farmer incomes and help to sustain the Africa Great Lakes region’s reputation for producing among the highest quality coffees in the world.
AGLC addresses these challenges through an integrated program of applied research, farmer capacity building and policy engagement.
AGLC works around three axes:
- Applied policy, household, and agronomic (field-level) research
- Capacity building/farmer training & outreach; and
- Policy engagement.
The proposed solution requires a public-private sector coordinated response across the entire value chain, including producers, washing stations, dry mills, exporters and the government agencies that support the sector’s growth.
Lead capacity building and policy partners include CEPAR, Starbucks and NAEB in Rwanda, and InterCafé, Greenco, and ARFIC in Burundi.
Status: Associate Award
Funding dates: 2015-2018
Themes: Climate Change and Gender
Daniel Clay, Professor and and Director, Global Programs in Sustainable Agri-food Systems, Department of Community Sustainability, MSU.
AGLC (Rwanda & Burundi)
Rwandan coffee is increasingly recognized as a high quality product, sought after by specialty coffee buyers and consumers world-wide. The coffee sector in Rwanda is made up of over 355,000 farmers, mostly smallholders, and is a major source of export revenue for the country (NAEB Census 2015). Despite impressive growth and a rapid transformation of the sector over the past two decades, coffee productivity in Rwanda, at 385kg/ha, is among the lowest in East Africa (ICO).
The major components of cost of production are household (unpaid) labor, wage labor, equipment (e.g., pruning shears, sprayers, masks) and purchased inputs (fertilizer, pesticide, mulch, etc.). The study describes a methodology and quantitative estimation process that can be used to estimate the values for each of these components in Rwanda and other coffee producing countries with predominantly smallholder production.
Uncovering ‘the Root Cause’ of Declining Coffee Production in Rwanda - Determinants of Farmer Invest
Understanding when and why coffee farmers will invest their time and resources in their coffee trees is something like the ‘holy grail’ in the coffee industry. In Rwanda, this has been especially true because coffee production in Rwanda has declined and stagnated in recent decades. This report shows how failing to bring in the producers as full partners is one of the key reasons for this decline. Sub-par compensation for their cherry, an average of 24 percent below the revenues of their counterparts elsewhere in the region, has resulted in the neglect and disinvestment in coffee by many producers, particularly largeholder producers.