Something needs to be done to entice Rwandans to begin consuming coffee and make it a local custom.
Despite the high quality coffee produced in Rwanda, local consumption is still a big puzzle to fix and this has very negative effects on farmers’ incomes and eventual livelihoods.
Hundreds of delegates have convened in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali for the annual meetings of the Inter-African Coffee Organization (IACO) from November 16th – 19th 2021. This symposium is discussing coffee value chains and strategies to increase local consumption of Coffee and boost trade.
Speaking to delegates at this forum, Dr. Jean Chrysostome Ngabitsinze Rwanda’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources said, “If we have to improve our coffee farmers’ livelihoods, we have to promote the domestic consumption of coffee so they can raise their coffee farm incomes.”
In his submission, Dr.Ngabitsinze said, “the commodity of coffee is complex, so we have to find solutions of that complexity.” He told the symposium that coffee is not just a commodity, “It’s a magic tool that helps people to improve their lives socially and financially.”
He has called for increased domestic consumption to boost incomes for farmers.
“What are we doing to make sure that the domestic consumption is increasing and our people (farmers) are having not just incomes but wealth?” Dr.Ngabitsinze said, highlighting different initiatives that can increase local consumption of coffee.
According to him there are about 12 million coffee producers in Africa who work up to 14 hours and would like to see domestic consumption increase to considerable levels. He said that there is a need for new strategies to up consumption.
During the forum, some speakers elaborated on the key challenges facing the coffee sector.
For example Raissa Ikuzwe, the CEO of Ino coffee series (Specialty coffee) spoke of volatility of coffee prices which are adversely affecting…