AGLC (Rwanda & Burundi)

Landscape in Rwanda with drying coffee in the foreground
View of The Thousand Hills, Rwanda, 2016 (Photo: Ruth Ann Church)

Africa Great Lakes Region Coffee Support Program

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.

Local Partners:
University of Rwanda, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine
Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR), Rwanda,
Polytechnic University of Gitega
University of Ngozi

Partner based in Washington, D.C.:
Global Knowledge Initiative

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

Components: C1-C2
Themes: Climate Change and Gender

Project Leader:
Daniel Clay, Professor and and Director, Global Programs in Sustainable Agri-food Systems, Department of Community Sustainability, MSU.

AGLC Program Brochure

AGLC (Rwanda & Burundi)


  • AGLC Team 05/01/2017

    FSP Rwanda Coffee Research in Feed the Future Agrilinks

    Rwanda coffee production has seen transformations which have benefited Rwanda, but those at the base — the coffee growers — have made the least out of the new prosperity. FSP AGLC team studies the cost of production of coffee and its implications for farmers.

  • David L. Ortega, Aniseh S. Bro, Daniel C. Clay, Maria Claudia Lopez, Ruth Ann Church, Alfred R. Bizoza 01/04/2017

    The Role of Cooperative Coffee-Washing Stations for Rwandan Coffee

    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).

  • Ruth Ann Church and Daniel C. Clay 01/03/2017

    How to Determine the Cost of Production for Fully-Washed Coffee in Rwanda?

    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.