Rwanda Ikawa Nziza Cyane “Best Coffee Quality” Project (Rwanda INC)
The Rwanda INC program is a 4-year initiative funded by the European Union, JDE Peet’s, and the Government of Rwanda to unlock the potential of Rwanda's coffee value chain by helping farmers, washing stations, and service providers access the information and financing they need to provide high-quality, high-value coffee to local, regional, and international markets.
In Rwanda, more than 400,000 families, grow coffee and rely on the crop as their main source of income. Those families face significant challenges, such as low and unpredictable yields from their coffee trees and diminished coffee quality due to the limited adoption of good agricultural practices and regenerative farming techniques. There are also challenges at the coffee washing stations (CWS), where raw coffee cherries are initially processed due to inefficient operations and limited access to finance.
These issues make it difficult for Rwandan coffee farmers to access higher-value markets for farmers, increase their incomes, and lift their families and communities out of poverty.
With its high altitude, volcanic soil, and ideal climate for coffee plants, Rwanda has great potential to become a more prominent player in the specialty coffee industry and increase earnings for smallholder farmers through the implementation of best practices to enhance quality standards and developing a more profitable, higher-quality specialty export sector. With higher coffee earnings, farmers will be able to invest in greater food production, diversify their income sources, expand their coffee production, and pay for improved housing, healthcare, and education for their families.
Rwanda INC’s approach is grounded in TechnoServe’s deep experience in the Rwandan coffee sector and consultation with stakeholders across the coffee ecosystem. The program is targeting key constraints while ensuring that interventions complement–and build upon–other sector investments.
The Rwanda INC program is working with a target group of 50 coffee washing stations and five exporters, directly benefiting 50,000 smallholder farmers and indirectly benefiting an additional 400,000 coffee growers. Activities focus on the improved performance of an inclusive, sustainable, and profitable value chain for high-quality coffee.
The project targets
The Rwanda INC program aims to create a lasting increase in the price premium that wet mills pay farmers above the local price of traditionally-processed coffee, as well as:
- Facilitate 1,000 farmers’ access to new credit lines that will help them develop and improve their businesses;
- Increase farmers’ net incomes by 15% through improved on-farm performance and motivation;
- Improve the efficiency and market opportunities for at least 40 CWS through the adoption of financial and operational management tools;
- Enable a profitable value chain by promoting quality certification and standards for 25 CWSs and subsequently empower a growing number of coffee farmers’ organizations.