Coffee  was introduced to Rwanda by Germans in  early  1900s.

 Coffee  was introduced to Rwanda by Germans in  early  1900s.  It  has traditionally been the country’s most important export. Rwanda coffee plays a major role in the economy of the country, contributing significantly to foreign exchange earnings and  to the  monetization of the  rural economy.  Most of the  coffee is wet processed often at communal washing stations used by numerous coffee farmers. 

Rwandan coffee has been one  of  the  big  hits in  the world   specialty market in  the   last five  years arisen from  excellent growing conditions for specialty coffee. The increase appeal of Rwanda coffee is confirmed by awards assigned in international competitions like cup of excellence (CoE)  that Rwanda is hosting every year since 2007.

 Check out t Varieties cultivated: Harrar; POP  3303/21; Jackson 2/1257; BM139; BM 71 Harvesting season: March to July for Arabica and  May to July for Robusta Export products: green coffee (fully and semi-washed) at more than 90% of coffee export and  roasted coffee. his great video 



 The Coffee sub-sector is coordinated under the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) whose responsibilities are:

  •  Support to the coffee production by providing technical assistance and planting material to farmers
  • Support to the coffee processing
  • Promotion, marketing and export of Rwanda coffee
  • Participation in the development of the policy and strategies governing the sector and ensure the implementation of policies as they affect production, processing, marketing research and training in the sector


Coffee growing calendar

There is one crop of coffee per year and the flowering starts after the June – August dry season with the first rain in September (Table 1). Fruits are then formed and the harvesting period starts late February in the Western Province on the shores of Lake Kivu and Early March elsewhere. However in the some areas in the Northern Province coffee is still harvest until August.   




Investment opportunities in coffee sub-sector

  • Investment in production
  • Construction of washing stations 
  • Value addition:

  1.  Production of roasted coffee 
  2. Setting up sale units and roasting plants for Rwanda coffee in consuming countries


Strengths in the coffee sub-sector

  •  Liberalization of the sub-sector
  • Competitive quality
  • Developed infrastructure
  • High participation of its stakeholders (financial institutions, exporters, partners, and buyers).
  • Favorable environment
  • Organized farmers


Currently, 400,000 small holder farm families produce it and depend on it for their livelihoods. 97% of Rwandan coffee production is arabica mainly bourbon type while robusta accounts for 3%.

The production ranges from  267, 000 to 420,000 bags per  year (16  000 MT to 21000MT). The  total area in coffee is  currently 42,000  hectares  grown and   it  is grown in most provinces in the  country at an  altitude less than 1900 m.