Producer Profiles

Abahuzamugambi Ba Kawa

Abahuzamugambi Ba Kawa cooperative was founded by 300 small farmers after the 1994 war and genocide that devastated the Rwandan country and coffee industry. It is located in Maraba, one of the poorest districts of Rwanda. The members are subsistence farmers who rely on the sale of their high-quality coffee for 70 percent of their cash income to pay for basic necessities. This rapidly growing cooperative is working to make coffee farming a viable occupation by accessing the specialty coffee market and developing strong relationships with coffee roasters.

Abahuzamugambi (which means "those who have common goals") produces an exemplary crop from 100 percent Bourbon cultivars, highly noted for its natural sweet fruity flavor and rich body. Their coffee entered the specialty market as Rwanda Maraba Bourbon, proudly the “world’s first single origin Rwanda Coffee” and the “world’s first Fair Trade product from Rwanda,” which was certified in 2002.

With help from the NGO Project Pearl, Abahuzamugambi opened their own banking branch in 2003, which offers members a variety of banking services and provides new employment opportunities in the area. Their first washing station was constructed in 2002 and in 2007 they completed their fourth–allowing cherries to be processed within hours of picking, helping maintain more of its original qualities. Other projects funded with Fair Trade premiums include training sessions for women, medical insurance for members and academic scholarships for members’ children.
 

Quotable

Since my cooperative pays medical insurance for my children and I, we don't have any more issues trying to afford health services.  

Mukashyaka Gemima

Our coffee revenues have incresed since an additional washing station was built close to my cooperative.  

Habimana Francois

Programs

Scholarships for Members' Children

Abahuzamugambi offers scholarships to members' children so they are able to complete their basic education.

Insurance for Members

The cooperative initiated a health care program that covers medical insurance fees for members and their families.

Health Education Sessions for Women

The cooperative provides training for women on community health and hygiene issues.