By Elias Hakizimana.
Rwanda’s Coffee farmers’ cooperatives have been facing challenges including lack of equipment and skills development that could affect market access.
Due to the contribution of a local partner that supports four coffee cooperatives, some coffee farmers improved the quality of produce and gained more markets.
Josue Imanikuzwe, Bwishaza coffee spokesperson located in Rutsiro District told The Inspirer that Beautiful Coffee Rwanda limited helped them to build the capacity in terms of equipment.
“We did not have a good selling station with quality standards, and we thank our partner to help us relocate in the new station, Beautiful Coffee Rwanda gave us financial capacity to achieve that and to analyses data on how to improve the products,” Imanikuzwe said.
He added that their members were trained and gained skills that led to having a professional certificate.
“They helped us to improve our company’s working environment and we hope to get this year a certificate of professionalism,” he said.
With the same support, different buyers gave them contracts, which is an added value to their market according to Imanikuzwe.
“We have hope that we will improve on the production in the next season due to the training we gained from this partner. We hope also increase quality because our members acquired needed skills capacity.
One of the challenges as he said is that local buyers are still few.
“We need more buyers to come and experience the quality of our coffee, we also encourage Rwandans to drink Rwandan coffee as the big quantity is still exported,” Imanikuzwe noted.
In an exclusive interview with The Inspirer, Josias Harerimana, project operator at Beautiful Coffee Rwanda said that more than 1,000 farmers from four cooperatives supported by the project are directly benefitting from this three-year project.
The Beautiful Coffee Rwanda Limited was born from a Korean firm with the same name “Beautiful coffee Korea”, that is working with coffee farmers globally.
It started with a Rwandan coffee cooperative ‘COCAMU’ from Rutsiro district that exports to Korea.
Beautiful coffee Rwanda is supported by Koica in terms of capacity building and training on coffee production and market access.
“We build decent infrastructures for these cooperatives including toilets, offices, stores and washing stations,” Harerimana told The Inspirer.
The firm is currently working with four cooperatives namely COOCAMU, Bwishaza coffee, Gishyita coffee and KARORA coffee.
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