RWANDA - The National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB) is stepping up efforts to link farmers and buyers in different markets abroad as one of the ways to ensure that they earn more from their produce.
NAEB said the move will also boost farmers’ morale and motivate them to increase production, as well as promote quality along the value chain.
Amb George William Kayonga, the NAEB chief executive officer, said more support will be given to farmers under the initiative to help them add value to their produce so that they benefit more from their efforts.
Kayonga, who was speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting in Karongi District, Western Province on Thursday, said the approach will also boost marketing of agricultural products on the local and international markets.
“If the country is to double export revenues from our cash crops, like coffee and tea, we must increase output and improve produce quality going forward,” Kayonga told the meeting that brought together over 100 agro-dealers, exporters, farmers and policy-makers.
He noted that for Rwanda’s produce to be more competitive on the global market, stakeholders along the value chain must produce sufficient quantities besides observing quality.
He urged farmers to embrace modern farming methods and best agronomic practices to spur the sector’s productivity.
Caritas Mukandasira, the governor of the Western Province, said it is critical that farmers are supported to improve their skills, embrace modern farming practices to increase production.
She added that it also key to avail farmers with inputs. Mukandasira said the region is, not only a food basket for the country, but also produces the highest volume export crops. She said about 60 per cent of Rwanda’s green coffee exports come from the Province.
Best farmers rewarded
Meanwhile, 13 farmers who participated in Rwanda Cup of Excellence last year were awarded with certificates for exhibiting best coffees. The farmers were part of the 24 coffee washing stations from the Western Province that contested in the annual competition.
The Rwanda Cup of Excellence 2015 competition attracted 208 coffee lots during the pre-selection stage, an increase from 170 lots in 2014. The Cup of Excellence competition seeks to promote the quality of the country’s coffees and best practices along the value chain.
Rwanda exported 17.3 million kilogrammes of coffee during the first 11 months of 2015 to November, up from 15.1 million kilogrammes in 2014, reflecting a 14.61 per cent growth.
The country’s export earnings declined to $275.28 million in the first half of 2015, down from $293.61 million in the first half of 2014, indicating a drop of 6.2 per cent.
January 23, 16; http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/article/2016-01-18/196209/