Rwanda Coffee & Tea Analysis – Conservation International
Verde Ventures is a $25M impact investment fund managed by Conservation International, a large international conservation organization dedicated to protecting biodiversity and tropical nature. The fund invests debt into early and mid-stage enterprises that deliver environmental, socioeconomic and financial returns. Verde Ventures engaged I-DEV to identify innovative market-based strategies to improve the livelihoods of small-holder agricultural producers in biodiversity rich-areas of Rwanda. I-DEV conducted a 360 degree review of the resources and potential low-impact industries that could be developed in the selected regions. Coffee and tea producers were identified as the dominant producers groups in target areas, and therefore, the major focus of the analysis.
A core objective of this analysis was to identify high potential opportunities to stimulate greater income for smallholder agricultural producers, while also promoting improved environmental conservation. I-DEV met with key Rwandan coffee and tea sector players, in order to map the local and export value chains, including key supply chain constraints. Among its recommendations, I-DEV identified an opportunity to facilitate the development of an alternative financing product that would allow smallholder producers to transition to specialty certified coffee and tea production, demanded by the key Rwandan coffee and tea traders. The proposed innovative supply chain financing product is currently being designed and developed between Conservation International, a leading coffee buyer and a local microfinance institution.