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NAEB starts pre-selection of best coffee in Rwanda

By Malliavin NZAMURAMBAHO

Who will win the Best of Rwanda Competition after 30 years of Commemoration of Genocide against Tutsi?
From 9th to 14th June, 2024 The National Agricultural Export Development Boad (NAEB) together with other its stakeholders, JICA, USAID-Kungahara Wagura Amasoko Project and Starbucks, started the preliminary activity of pre-selection of coffees which will in the Best of Rwanda Competition 2024.

 Coffee was introduced to Rwanda by German missionaries in the early 20th century. The coffee industry saw substantial growth post-independence, with the government promoting coffee cultivation as a major export commodity. Rwanda primarily produces Arabica coffee, with Bourbon varieties being the most common due to their high quality.

The key coffee-growing regions include the Western and Northern Provinces, particularly in areas around Lake Kivu and the Virunga volcanic mountain range. The majority of coffee is produced by smallholder farmers who own less than a hectare of land each. There are around 400,000 coffee farmers in Rwanda. In 2023, Rwanda’s coffee industry made significant contributions to the national economy.

Today, The Rwanda Coffee is among the best of best coffee accolade on grounds of the beans’ aromatic richness, complexity, balance, elegance and aroma intensity and strength, according to judges.

What mean the Best of Rwanda Competition?

The Best of Rwanda is a National Specialty Coffee Competition aimed to strengthening the Rwanda Coffee Sector; to increase the quality of specialty coffee and promote Rwanda Coffee in international markets. NAEB partners such to showcase the highest quality Rwandan coffees. This competition is aimed at highlighting the best coffee lots from Rwanda and connecting them with international buyers through an auction.

Here is a detailed overview of the “Best of Rwanda” competition, including winners and auction prices where available.

The Purpose of the Best of Rwanda competition is to promote high quality coffee in Rwanda; to increase coffee prices; to incentivize producers to enhance quality; to facilitate research and development on quality improvement; to increase the export volume and value; and achieve additional coffee revenues in the country.

The Best of Rwanda Competitions 2024 is ongoing, after the previous competitions were passed successfully. In 2020, Twumba Coffee Cooperative won the competition, with a lot which sold at   $37.40 per pound.

  • In 2021, Ngoma Coffee Cooperative won the competition with a lot which sold at $50.10 per pound.
  • In 2022 Kilimbi Coffee Washing Station, known for its exceptional processing and quality won the competition with a lot which sold at $45.60 per pound.

What is Impact of Best of Rwanda Competition?

Quality Recognition

  • Excellence in Quality: The competition highlights the best coffee lots, encouraging farmers to maintain high standards in cultivation and processing.
  • Feedback and Improvement: Farmers receive detailed feedback from international judges, helping them to further improve their coffee.
  • Coffee Buyers, coffee roasters and coffee drinkers finds good coffee.

Economic Benefits

  • Premium Prices: Winning coffees typically achieve high prices at auction, significantly boosting the income of the farmers and cooperatives involved.
  • Market Access: The competition provides a platform for Rwandan coffee farmers to reach international specialty coffee markets.

The Best of Rwanda play a big role in Community and Social Impact like Community Development, by the increased income from premium coffee sales contributes to the development of coffee-growing communities and improving living standards and local infrastructure.

 The Best of Rwanda also increasing empowerment such as Recognition from the competition empowers farmers, fostering pride and motivation to continue producing high-quality coffee.

The Best of Rwanda contribute to Sustainability by Continued focus on sustainable farming practices to ensure the long-term viability of high-quality coffee production; It is also help to spread the innovation through embracing new techniques and technologies in coffee cultivation and processing to enhance quality and efficiency.

The Best of Rwanda, increasing participation in the competition to include more farmers and regions, further boosting the visibility and reputation of Rwandan coffee.

 The Best of Rwanda competition plays a crucial role in elevating the profile of Rwandan coffee on the global stage. By recognizing and rewarding excellence, it not only improves the livelihoods of coffee farmers but also enhances Rwanda’s reputation as a producer of some of the world’s finest specialty coffees.

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