Published On: Fri, Oct 2nd, 2015

US collaboration to revive Rwanda coffee industry

coffe farmingKIGALI, (CAJ News) – THE Rwandan coffee industry is set for a revival following a $1,8 million partnership between United States organisations.

The partnership between US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Michigan State University (MSU) aims to help the African Great Lakes region maintain its international position in the coffee market.

The have announced the partnership to coincide with International Coffee Day celebrated on October 1.

The launch follows declining productivity in the field owing to plant diseases like the increasingly-prevalent antestia bug infestation.

“We will address these issues through an integrated program of applied research, farmer capacity building and policy engagement,” said Dan Clay, MSU’s Director of Global Programs in Sustainable Agri-food Systems.

Clay said the solution would require a public-private sector coordinated approach across the entire value chain, including producers, washing stations, dry mills, exporters and the government agencies that support the sector’s growth.

Tjada McKenna, Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future and Assistant to the Administrator at USAID Bureau for Food Security.

“We know that the path to global food security cannot be forged by governments alone. We’re excited to leverage these alliances and the tremendous market knowledge of our private sector partners to promote an enabling environment for sustainable and inclusive growth in the Africa Great Lakes region’s coffee sector.”

Coffee is more than a popular beverage consumed by one-third of the world’s population; it’s a key source of income for 25 million farmer families in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Coffee production also drives demand for farm labor, benefiting resource-poor rural families and communities around the world.

In Rwanda, specialty coffee is the main source of cash income for hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers, and Rwandan coffee has had considerable success in international markets. USAID funding played a key role in reviving the coffee sector following the genocide in the East African country.

CAJ News

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