RWANDA – Rwanda has clinched a significant coffee export deal with South Korea, marking a pivotal moment for the country’s coffee industry.  

The National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) revealed that Rwanda could export 20 containers equivalent to 384 tonnes of green coffee, valued at Rwf2.5 billion (US$1.94M), to Seoul. 

This breakthrough came during the “Coffee Expo Seoul 2024,” the largest coffee exhibition in South Korea, held from March 21-24. The event, attended by 60,000 participants worldwide, provided a platform for Rwandan coffee exporters to secure valuable markets. 

Rwandan exhibitors seized the opportunity to showcase their products and explore potential partnerships at the event that was facilitated by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), NAEB, Private Sector Federation (PSF), and the Rwanda Embassy in South Korea.  

NAEB reported that Rwandan exhibitors secured a market to export 76.8 tonnes of green coffee in 2024, with a projected revenue of Rwf500 million (US$387,486.65). 

Alexis Nkurunziza, Division Manager of Traditional Commodities at NAEB, emphasized the importance of participating in international exhibitions to secure sustainable markets and elevate Rwanda’s visibility on the global stage. 

Nkubito Manzi Bakuramutsa, the Ambassador of Rwanda to South Korea, highlighted the growing popularity of Rwanda’s coffee among South Korean consumers. He underscored the potential of the South Korean market for Rwandan coffee, noting favorable prices and increasing demand. 

Ernest Nshimiyimana, President of Dukunde Kawa Musasa Cooperative, expressed optimism about the new export opportunities. He mentioned that the new clients have provided specific recommendations regarding quantity and quality, signaling a promising future for Rwandan coffee exports. 

According to NAEB, Rwanda’s coffee exports in the fiscal year 2022/2023 generated US$115.9 million, marking a significant increase compared to the previous fiscal year. 

To further boost coffee yield and productivity, NAEB emphasized the importance of rehabilitating and replacing aging coffee trees with new varieties. 

Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) has been actively promoting the replacement of old coffee trees with the new RAB C15 variety.  

By doing so, NAEB aims to increase coffee yield per tree from the current 2 kilograms to 7-10 kilograms, thereby enhancing overall productivity in the country’s coffee sector. 

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