By: Francis Byaruhanga
Coffeefarmers in Kayonza District, Eastern Province could soon increase production thanks to the new state of the art coffee washing station
The multi-million coffee washing station is expected 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 fertiliser application.
NAEB has been emphasising 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.