There is a need to attract youth to join the coffee business, and more particularly the production. To tackle this challenge Agriterra is partnering with primary coffee processors under the CBI Specialty Coffee Program, to attract young people to get involved along the entire value chain of coffee. Cooperatives form ideal job creation vehicles for youngsters in the sector and have the ambition to increase their presence on the international specialty coffee market.
A few reasons for youth to join the coffee sector:
• Agriculture remains the back bone of the Rwandan economy
• Coffee accounts for approximately 30% of Rwanda’s total export revenues
• Average age of coffee producers in Rwanda is 55, while more than 30% of the total population in Rwanda is below 30 years old
• There are job and business opportunities along the value chain
• Required ingredients: innovation, enthusiasm, knowledge
Getting involved in the production of coffee opens up many opportunities for youth and the coffee sector. Quality and quantity can be improved through innovative services and pragmatic organic farming practices. Cooperatives can employ youngsters as extension officers and implement a service system in which the agronomic services are paid for by the coffee farmers. The services provided can contribute to increased production and improved quality, resulting in higher revenues for producers. Last but not least, more youth joining primary cooperatives can create space for youth councils
Turn up the Volume!
To raise awareness and sensitizing the community and its members on the importance of youth participation, it sometimes takes a team of people, a team of football players…or a radio show!
Agriterra Rwanda in collaboration with CBI under its Youth Inclusion in Coffee Sector Program, organized a media campaign to inspire youth to be more involved in coffee business activities. It was conducted to inform youth about the importance of joining the coffee sector and the earnings they can make out of it.
In total, 4 radio shows were organised, hosting young coffee farmers to share success stories, challenges and possible solutions in their daily activities. The shows were aired nationally on Isango Star Radio Station, as well as online via YouTube and Facebook. The show gathered various knowledgeable experts from the sector, while also one location visit was done to Sake farms.
The objective was to:
• To inspire youth to engage in agricultural activities (production, marketing).
• To inform cooperatives, company owners and young people about the role of youth in the sector.
• Share success stories in coffee sector and inspire many other young people.
• Advocate on current issues that youngsters are still facing in their daily farming activities.
The outreach of all radio shows together were 8683 people, opposed to the expected 3000
The shows had a positive impact because it gave the guests an opportunity to share their experience in the sector, the audience asked questions and also shared their worries when it comes to youth involvement in coffee. During the shows it was realized that access to land and limited working capital are still aching issues among youths and that rural youth are not feeling confident enough to become involved in the coffee industry as professional baristas or cuppers since the courses are offered in foreign languages which they don’t know. All the partners invited in the show (NAEB, RWASHOSCCO, MOTHERLANDS, SAKE FARMS, ABAKUNDAKAWA) appreciated the initiative and the Rwandan government is much willing to keep supporting youth to get engaged in the sector in collaboration with all concerned parties.
Young farmers got interviewed for the radio show to share their stories
Announcement for the Radio Show