THE CHALLENGE TO SUSTAINABLE GROWTH IN RWANDA’S COFFEE SECTOR

Recent in-depth analysis of current trends in Rwanda’s coffee sector, together with research findings from the Africa Great Lakes Coffee Support Program (AGLC) have revealed that low and stagnating production has placed Rwanda’s coffee sector in a vulnerable state (AGLC, 2016). Perennially low coffee prices (24 percent below others in the region) have resulted in low, often negative profits to farmers, discouraging them from investing in their plantations. Simply put, farmers have been left out of Rwanda’s “coffee renaissance” over the past 15 years and the consequences are now more apparent than ever. Many farmers report that losses in coffee have driven them to abandon their coffee trees and increasingly to uproot them in favor of other, more profitable crops. AGLC research shows that these trends are particularly acute among largeholder coffee farmers (those with 1000+ trees). These are farmers who are more highly commercialized, are highly responsive to cherry prices, and have other farming and off-farm options. They also own the majority (57 percent) of coffee trees in Rwanda (AGLC, 2016). Equally disconcerting is the finding that young farmers are choosing not to enter into coffee at all, often for the same reasons. They see clearly how their parents struggle to make a living in coffee and opt to produce other crops instead.


Issue Date:
Jun 01 2018
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
Record Identifier:
https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/275678
Language:
English
Total Pages:
23
Series Statement:
FSP Research Paper 100




 Record created 2018-08-05, last modified 2020-10-28

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