The National Agriculture Export Development Board (NAEB) is confident the country’s coffee quality will cushion farmers, processors and exporters against the current decline in prices on the international market.
According to Dr Celestin Gatarayiha, the head of coffee division at NAEB, Rwanda might also not be affected because it sells its coffee through contract buyers.
“Rwanda sells coffee through negotiated contracts with international stakeholders… we do not sell at the Mombasa auction,” explained Gatarayiha.
He added that Rwanda exports a sizeable amount of specialty coffee, which is not likely to be hit by price decline. The expert, however, noted that they are also looking to improve quality and increase volumes in order reduce the impact of international coffee price declines.
“Buyers like quality coffee, and will pay handsomely regardless of whether there is an increase is supply,” said, noting that some of the coffees on the world market do not match Rwanda coffee quality.
He, however, said ordinary coffee was likely to be affected by the drop in global coffee prices.
Gatarayiha was responding to recent big declines in coffee prices at the Mombasa auction and at the world’s largest auction in New York, where prices have dropped by over 22 per cent.
The decline has been attributed to increase supply of coffee on the world market, especially from Brazil and Colombia, the major growers, and poor quality beans in some coffee exporting countries.
By mid-March, a 50-kilogramme bag of coffee had dropped from a high of $279 last month (202,275) to $228 (Rwf165,300) at the Mombasa auction. Read More…