Origin: Cafe De Gisagara
Tasting Notes: Nectar, Dates, Honey with medium body that’s smooth and sweet
Café de Gisagara is run by Good Neighbors, an NGO from Korea. The project began in 2014. Before the project began there was little attention given to coffee quality and little infrastructure existed.
The Gisagara region is fairly stable today with relations between Hutus and Tutsis steadily improving. There is a small population of Congolese refugees living in the area. The region is heavily reliant on agriculture. Yields are low at the moment due to a lack of quality farming inputs and low earnings for farmers to invest back into their farms with. Organic farming practices are a priority, but many farmers are currently struggling against pests such as armyworm and various beetle species. Climate change is also effecting the region and resulting in a shorter rainy season. Despite these challenges the level of poverty in the region has been slowly declining.
Coffee prices are largely influenced by the government of Rwanda. Coffee farmers are paid for their raw cherry, with an incentive program in place to encourage the picking of only ripe cherries, and all processing is handled by the staff of Café de Gisagara. Coffee farmers in Rwanda at the time of writing are being paid about 25 cents per lb for their raw cherries. Farms are small enough that typically no hired help is needed. Farmers and their families manage their own farms and harvesting.
Income from the sale of the coffee by Café de Gisagara is reinvested into the region in different ways. A training farm was developed by the NGO, and a number of infrastructure investments were made, all to help improve production quality. Better farming techniques, to reverse soil degradation, are being taught. The aim of the project is to reduce poverty by helping the farmers to improve their coffee quality and the income the crop brings, but also by giving them the means by which they can do this sustainably.