EU unveils US$11.3m fund to support horticultural, coffee value chains in Rwanda

RWANDA – The European Union has launched a US$11.37 million (10 million Euros) funding to support Rwanda’s horticultural and coffee value chains in a bid to unlock the potential at both the local and regional markets.

The funding will support initiatives that aims to ensure the supply of safe products to local, regional and international markets.

The EU has unveiled US$5.32 million (4.68 million Euros) for horticultural high-value chains, SME- and agribusiness development while US$3.41 million (€3 million) is for enhancing coffee value chain development.

Another US$2.61 million (€2.3 million) is being invested in building the laboratory capacities of the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) for compliance with regional and international markets standards.

The programme is co-financed by the EU-EAC Markup Programme that will bring complementary through regional approaches to facilitate trade and improve access to international markets.

Accordingto an EU statement, the investment was in accordance with the newly adopted strategy for the transformation of Agriculture (PSTA 4) whereby European Union supports to intensify the production of agriculture and increase employment opportunities in Rwanda rural areas in particular for youth and women.

“The support is in the context of the EU’s overall support to Rwanda’s agriculture sector through a financing agreement of 204 million Euros,” the EU statement noted.

It will help increase the quality and quantity of production and ultimately increase value addition per hectares with a specific attention to poverty reduction and increase of incomes for smallholder farmers.

Particularly, the initiatives will address the issues of traceability, standards, certification, in order to comply with regional and international market requirements.

Rwanda’s specialty coffee production rate moved from almost zero in 2000 to 58% in 2017 and projected to grow to 80% of total coffee produce by 2020.

Between July 2017 to June 2018, about US$66 million was generated from Rwanda’s overall coffee exports, against US$58 million in the previous year.

According to the National Agriculture Exports Development Board (NAEB), Rwanda targets to export 24,500 tonnes of coffee by the end of the current financial year(2018/2019), up from 23,000 tonnes last year.

Coffee is grown on 37,000 hectares by 355,000 small-scale farmers and it makes up 48% of Rwanda’s agricultural exports.

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