New Markets. New Opportunities.
The global population is rising, with estimates that the demand for food will increase by 70% by 2050. Significant investment, estimated at around $80 billion annually, will be needed to meet this increased demand.
To meet this increased and changing demand, emerging agricultural markets such as Africa need to be supported. Current constraints in production and trade in these markets needs to be overcome, by increasing access to assets, financing and the digital tools that enable scale and profitability.
The increased global demand has rendered agriculture a hotbed of emerging and developing markets. This is especially apparent in in the case of Rwanda.
The Rwandan government has decided to focus on agriculture as a key driver for Rwanda’s current and future economy, with value of exports expected to grow from 259 million USD to 300 million, an approximate 15% growth. The Rwandan government has implemented a strategy to create more sustainable farming practices and smarter management particularly in the tea and coffee markets.
The major markets for the Rwandan coffee exports are the US and Europe while for tea the middle east and Pakistan, with total revenues estimated at 390 million USD in 2016. In addition to improving their methods for growing arabica coffee beans, Rwanda is improving its processing technologies to become a player in the specialty coffee market. The government strategy aims to increase agricultural productivity by increased use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
ICT will increase the number of skilled and knowledgeable farmers, develop a common user interface, encourage agricultural job creation among youth, and expand access to rural agricultural financial services. Proper ICT implementation depends in part on buy-in of external stakeholders such as Starbucks, Marks & Spencer and the support of new technologies such as the ones offered by Avenews-GT.
According to USAID, since 2002 approximately 50,000 rural households have seen their incomes from coffee production more than double, and some 2,000 jobs have been created in the Rwandan coffee industry.