AGLC (Rwanda & Burundi) Featured Stories
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.
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.