This was a 56.5 per cent year-on-year decrease. The export volumes also dropped to 2,201 tonnes during the quarter compared to 3,698.6 tonnes recorded over a similar period last year.
Celestin Gatarayiha, the head of coffee division at NAEB, attributed the drop in value to a decline in international coffee prices compared to the first quarter last year.
He added that January-March is usually off season for the crop, meaning that the country was exporting old stocks over the period.
"When the international prices are low, we export less and store the coffee until the prices improve," he explained.
The average price per kilogramme of coffee stood at
Gatarayiha said though they expect better revenues of about
"We are working with coffee farmers, providing them fertilisers and extension services to boost output. NAEB is also sensitising farmers and dealers to ensure proper post-harvest handling of the crop, which will improve coffee quality...Better coffee quality translates into better revenues," he said.
Coffee is one of
The crop also performed poorly last year because of prolonged drought, according to NAEB.
International prices stood at an average
NAEB increased the indicative coffee farm-gate price (the minimum price payable to farmers) to Rwf200 from Rwf142 per kilogramme at the beginning of the country's coffee season in March.
The increase followed a price surge on the international market in January. In January, the monthly average of the
Coffee prices on the global market had plummeted to as low as
Official Brazilian production estimates for crop year 2014/15 that started in April, suggests that output could fall for the second consecutive crop year, giving an initial forecast of between 46.53 and 50.15 million bags.
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