Rwanda’s green coffee secures market in Korea

Source: The New Times

Rwanda could export 20 containers equivalent to 384 tonnes of green coffee worth Rwf2.5 billion to Seoul in South Korea, National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) has announced.

Green coffee beans are the raw seeds of coffee cherries that have been separated or processed and have yet to be roasted.

The markets were secured during “Coffee Expo Seoul 2024”, the biggest coffee exhibition in South Korea, which took place on March 21-24.

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in partnership with NAEB, Private Sector Federation (PSF) and the Rwanda Embassy in South Korea organized facilitation of coffee exporters to attend the exhibition attended by 60,000 participants from across the globe.

400 companies attended the exhibition, among them 6 companies were from Rwanda.

Rwandan exhibitors, during the exhibition, obtained a market to export 76.8 tonnes of green coffee in 2024 that could generate Rwf500 million, NAEB said.

“In addition to green coffee, specialty coffee is expected in the market in Seoul. Facilitating Rwandan exporters to participate in international exhibitions lead to obtaining sustainable markets and increase Rwanda’s visibility,” stated Alexis Nkurunziza, Division Manager of Traditional Commodities, National. Agricultural Export Development Board. (NAEB).

Nkubito Manzi Bakuramutsa, the Ambassador of Rwanda to the Republic of Korea, said that Rwanda’s coffee is consumers’ favorite coffee in South Korea.

Rwanda was chosen as the guest country of the exhibition.

“There is a potential market for Rwanda’s coffee in South Korea. The coffee uptake in South Korea is rising and the prices offered by this market are ideal. Furthermore, there is even a market for honey in this country. Many companies expressed interest in buying honey from Rwanda to use it in manufacturing’s foods that they export to Japan, China, and Russia,” he said.

Ernest Nshimiyimana, the President of Dukunde Kawa Musasa Cooperative which exports coffee, said the new clients have also informed Rwandan farmers and exporters what they need in terms of quantity and quality.

“The clients we met have shown us their recommendations and we will soon send samples,” he noted.

Coffee exports generate $115.9 million

Rwanda exported slightly more than 20,000 tonnes of coffee which generated $115.9 million (around Rwf149.5 billion) in the financial year 2022/2023, representing a 53.39 per cent increase in coffee revenues compared to $75.5 million (over Rwf97 billion) earned from more than 15,000 tonnes sold at international markets in the previous fiscal year, according to the National Agricultural Export Development Board.

Rwanda started to grow coffee in 1900.

Rehabilitating and replacing ageing coffee trees with new varieties could increase coffee yield per tree and boost coffee production from the current levels, officials at the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) says.

It said replacing old coffee trees could increase yield to 7-10 kilogrammes per tree from the current 2 kilogrammes.

Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) has been incentivising the replacement of old trees, one of the biggest barriers to better productivity in the country, for the new RAB C15 variety.

THE AUTHOR: Michel Nkurunziza, The New Times, Rwanda’s Leading Daily

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