Region coffee experts and beyond discuss quality coffee enhancement in Kigali
Region coffee experts met in Kigali for a solution on enhancing the quality of coffee as well as alleviating the potato taste defect in the East Africa.
The experts come together on March 17, 2014 in a two-day research symposium themed “Research and Extension as a drive to find strategies and address challenges met in coffee industry.
Participants came from the region and overseas countries including Kenya, Burundi, DR Congo, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America.
Hon. Dr Agnes Kalibata told the participants that it is not by accident that they all met in Kigali.
The Antestia bug is suspected to be responsible of the Potato Taste Defect (PTD) in coffee; thus the disease has no boundaries.
The minister urged the participants to try and identify the really cause of the potato taste defect.
Amb. George William Kayonga, the Director General of National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), said the symposium is going to be the learning opportunity for the participants about the PTD and the possible solutions to eradicate it.
The main aim of the symposium was to find the possible solutions for PTD that affects the quality of Rwandan coffee since Rwanda’s competitiveness on international market is by exporting the good quality of fully washed coffee.
Similarly, Rwanda hosted a two-day conference dubbed “Let’s Talk Coffee conference” in Kigali on February 17, 2014 aimed at promoting and marketing Rwanda’s high quality coffee to the international market for local farmers’ benefits.
In 2013, coffee earnings surged to $11.5 million in the three months through March from $4.9 million a year earlier. Average prices climbed to $3.13 a kilogram (2.2 pounds) from $2.58 previously according to the National Agricultural Export Board.
In Rwanda, coffee remains among the leading export revenue earners, representing 24% of the country’s total export in 2010.