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October 08, 2011

Rwanda government to construct coffee roasting plant

by Gertrude Majyambere

The Rwandan National Agriculture Export Development Board (NAEB) is set to establish a coffee roasting plant as part of the government’s strategy to raise farmers’ earnings and boost coffee exports by adding value to the crop.

The Rwf700million (1 US$D = 622.9243 RWF) plant will be put up through a Public Private Partnership (PPP), with Ocir-Café holding 49 per cent stake in the project while private operator, Clinton Hunter Development Initiative, will hold 51 per cent shares.

Alex Kanyankole, the Director General of NAEB said they are yet to acquire a construction permit. Real Contractors has been hired to carryout the construction, which will last between six and eight months.

“This plant is aimed at the premium end of the market and will complement other products in the coffee export chain but it will be priced higher than our green coffee beans,” Kanyankole said.

Rwanda mainly exports traditional coffee beans, which currently attracts US$6 per kilo on the international market, US$14 less than the price of roasted coffee.

The plant will have the capacity to roast 3,000 metric tones annually. Rwanda targets the Middle East, regional markets and the US for her roasted coffee exports.

This year, government targets US $60m from coffee exports, up from US $47m last year.

Currently, coffee roasters include Bourbon, Ocir Café and Nkubiri Enterprise that roast between 10 and 20 metric tonnes per year.

The New Times

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