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Rwanda - KCRS - Washed

RWANDA - KCRS - WASHED

COUNTRY

Rwanda is blessed with ideal coffee growing conditions that include high altitude, regular rainfall, volcanic soils with good organic structure and an abundance of the Bourbon coffee variety. The vast majority of Rwandan coffee is produced by smallholders of which there are thought to be around half a million, they often have no more than just one hectare per family. Coffee is grown in most parts of the country, with particularly large concentrations along Lake Kivu and in the southern province. Rwandan smallholders organise themselves into cooperatives and share the services of centralised wet-mills – or washing stations as they are known locally. Flowering takes place between September and October and the harvest runs from March to July, with shipments starting in late May, early June.

THIS COFFEE

85% of the growers that make up Cooperative Coffee Rusiga Sector (KCRS) have their farms at 2000masl or higher. An incredibly diverse crop production happens on these smallholder plots, legumes, beans, sweet potatoes and more can be grown in between the coffee trees. This is not always to the benefit of the crop, but does allow income to be spread over the year as well as producing food for their own consumption. Typically you’ll find very small family plots with on average around 6 other crops.

This coffee is produced by women farmers; there are some male members of the families but the women took over ownership and charge of the land. The support that a small holder farmer often relies on has found to flourish under this structure and it is often now used as a methodology to help improve the coffee on a farm if an individual ism struggling. We source the coffee through Kinini and Jacquie has been active in helping them to organise themselves since some of the women supplied coffee to them.

As Jacquie herself says, “A few of them asked me for advice if I could help them form cooperative and get training from us. We then made different changes behind the scenes, got the necessary paperwork in place after few days the cooperative was registered. They then made 12 groups depending on [which] village is near to them making training and traveling much easy for all.” “After all this was in place I promised them that I will market their coffee by the coop name. These women are now coffee expert farmers.”

TASTES LIKE:

Brown Sugar, Red Fruit, Rooibos

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