Rwanda’s new coffee factory begins operations steered at increasing exports


Rwanda’s new dry coffee processing mill that aims to boost the country’s specialty coffee exports has started operations, reports New Times.

The factory estimated to have coast between $2 million and $3 million, has equipment valued at 700,000USD. The mill situated at the Kigali Special economic Zone is expected to double production capacity and further enhance quality of Rwandan coffee.

“The equipment we have imported from Brazil is of modern standard. It allows us to maintain the highest quality throughout the supply chain and achieve high scoring coffee, and thus high premiums,” said Clay Parker, Managing Director, Rwanda Trading Company (RTC) which owns the mill.

The new mill has employed about 100 full time workers; it will also be empowering over 80,000 farmers that they will be buying coffee produce from, procuring over 20 million kilogrammes of coffee cherries per season.

“We are almost doubling our capacity with this mill. This mill can process seven tonnes per hour, and we can do close to three containers for export per day,” said Clay Parker, Managing Director, Rwanda Trading Company (RTC) which owns the mill.

Containers have a capacity to carry 19.2 tonnes of coffee each. The company is targeting export markets such as US, Europe and Asia.

“We (Rwanda government) recognize the importance of the coffee sector and we are working hard through a number of institutions such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, and NAEB to ensure increased production through good agronomical practices including increasing fully washed coffee and increasing mineral fertilizer application from 4,300 tonnes to 5,000 tonnes,” said Director-General for Trade and Investment at Ministry of Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs, Robert Opirah.

The Rwandan government targets to export 22,650 tonnes of coffee, worth around $68 million, and 23,000 tonnes, worth $70 million, in the 2017/18 season according to National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB). Rwanda has over 400,000 coffee farmers and 20 coffee dry mills.