Cash Crops – Economy of Rwanda

Cash Crops of Rwanda

Economic Impact and Challenges


Cash crops play a significant role in Rwanda’s economy, contributing to both agricultural production and export earnings. Coffee and tea are among the most important cash crops grown in the country. Rwanda’s favorable climate and high-altitude terrain provide suitable conditions for the cultivation of high-quality Arabica coffee. Coffee, in particular, has been a longstanding export commodity and a key source of foreign exchange revenue.


The cultivation and export of cash crops contribute substantially to the agricultural sector’s GDP share and provide income for many rural households. The government has implemented initiatives to support smallholder farmers in improving crop quality and adopting sustainable agricultural practices. However, the reliance on a few key cash crops poses economic risks, as fluctuations in global commodity prices can impact export revenues. Diversification of crops and value addition processes are ongoing strategies to mitigate these challenges and enhance the resilience of the agricultural sector. The success of these efforts not only contributes to economic stability but also fosters rural development and poverty reduction by improving the livelihoods of those engaged in cash crop cultivation.

Major Cash Crops of Rwanda


Rwanda is known for producing high-quality Arabica coffee, and coffee is a significant contributor to the country’s export earnings.


The tea industry is well-established in Rwanda, with the country exporting both orthodox and CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl) teas.

Horticultural Crops

Rwanda also cultivates various horticultural crops for export, including flowers, vegetables, and fruits. These contribute to the country’s agricultural diversification efforts.


Pyrethrum is a flower used in the production of natural insecticides. Rwanda has been involved in pyrethrum cultivation for both domestic use and export.


Tobacco is grown in Rwanda for both domestic consumption and export. The tobacco industry contributes to the agricultural sector.