German missionaries were the first to introduce coffee trees to Rwanda in 1904. Beginning around 1930 coffee production in Rwanda increased though it was mostly low-grade, high volume green coffee beans as dictated by the government creating one of the country’s few significant cash crops.
Today Rwanda is Africa’s ninth largest Arabica coffee producer with about 450,000 small farms which average less than one hectare in size (about 165 coffee trees per coffee farmer) totaling about 28,000 hectares in coffee cultivation.
Coffee is more of a culture in African countries than we’re used to in the west, with rituals and socializing being a key component of any get together. The industry attaches values to its crops – Hope (“Ikizere”), Vision (“Ikerokoza”), Ishema (“Proud”) – that guide how people work together.
Part of our team have visited Rwanda in spring 2019. Small farms, coffee processing plant, tea plantations, amazing nature and people.