The quantity of coffee production could soon rise for coffee farmers in Kayonza District. The Eastern Province expects a new coffee washing station that would without a doubt be a game changer in the field.
The multi-million coffee washing station is anticipated to improve the quality coffee along supply chain and boost farmers’ incomes, Egide Murindababisha, the Managing Director, Akagera Coffee Project, said.
According to Murindababisha, the state of the art station will help reduce post-harvest losses and enhance value addition, thus make coffee business more profitable.
Murindababisha was speaking during the official inauguration of the coffee washing station in Kayonza District Friday last week.
Chantal Uwamaliya, the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) Head of Horticulture, said the station is expected to boost exports and create more than 100 new jobs.
Uwamaliya urged farmers to embrace modern farming technologies and value addition to become more profitable.
There are currently more than 229 coffee washing stations across the country and the number could increase once a new policy is implemented.
The country exported 3,310,339 kilos of coffee during the first quarter of 2016 up from 1,824,629 kilos during the same period in 2015.
The export body attributes the improved performance to increased production and good agronomical practices, including embracing coffee washing stations and fertilizer, application.
NAEB has been emphasizing value addition and encouraging farmers and cooperatives to take advantage of coffee washing stations to boost the quality of coffee exports, a statement from NAEB said.
This signals how serious government is taking the sector when it comes it contribution towards narrowing its trade deficit.
More than 400,000 farmers depend on coffee farming for their livelihood. There are currently 229 coffee washing stations across the country.
Meanwhile speaking at the event, Claude Bizimana, the chairman, Coffee Farmers Cooperative Kayonza, said the new station will increase export receipts.
He pledged to continue linking farmers to markets so they can become more competitive.
Claudine Murekatete, the president of the Rusave coffee farmers association, said the station had come at the right time and will help transform lives at grassroots level.