Remarkably since then, Rwanda has enjoyed strong rates of economic growth, creating new business prospects and lifting many people out of poverty. Thanks to an efficient government actively working to develop the economy and reform the financial and business sectors, Rwandan coffee has become a very important player, contributing significantly to foreign exchange earnings and the monetization of the rural economy. In 2019, agriculture accounted for 29% of Rwanda's economy, and coffee accounted for a third of this income, with 75% of the total population working in the agricultural sector.
Rwandan coffee farmers plan their cultivation around the annual calendar of the dry and rainy seasons, but climate change has made previously predictable patterns erratic and extreme. Torrential floods wash away nutrient-rich volcanic soil, while prolonged droughts prevent the growth of microorganisms needed to replenish it. Without constant nutrients or water, coffee plants struggle to grow and become stressed, producing fewer beans each year or they die entirely. Farmers turn to expensive synthetic fertilizers, which reduce their profits and can pollute local ecosystems.
In addition to the geographic and climate drama, we must add the logistic drama. Last year in the midst of the pandemic, there was a general scarcity of these fertilizers and other imported farming inputs for the production of coffee, which resulted in an even greater impact on an already very small harvest.
We hope that the situation improves in Rwanda for the next harvest, the coffee trees are already beginning to bloom and the photos we receive are more than hopeful.
Enjoy your Rwandan coffee!