Tuesday, May 12, 2015

21. Pre-departure for Rwanda -- the current situation

May 12, 2015

The countdown to my departure for Rwanda is at 4 days.  An article just appeared in yesterday's New Times (English newspaper of Rwanda) emphasizing the urgency of the supply chain problem. The headline reads:

"Huye coffee farmers decry low prices, inadequate washing stations"

quote from the article:

The farmers say besides the coffee fetching little [money], the washing stations in the area are overwhelmed by the large quantities of produce that need processing. “Most of the collection centres which used to buy our coffee from the farms have closed because the washing stations where they would take it for processing are overstretched,” said Janvier Mugambira, a coffee farmer from Isimbi Sector.
Washing stations say they are full in Rwanda.

Last year Rwandan farmers were receiving Rfr 220+ for 1 kg cherry. Today the price is at Rfr 170 -- a 23% decline and below the cost of production by most estimates.

This sounds to me like a situation where the value stream mapping I practiced at Definity University last month may help. If we can visualize where the waste is and quantify how big it is, then usually decision-makers get interested in spending some time to reduce it. I look forward to having that data and then doing some cause and effect analysis with key stakeholders. Where do they feel the main bottlenecks are?  Where should action should be prioritized? Would it make a difference if productivity at washing stations could be improved 10, 20 even 30%?
Stay tuned...

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