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Fugi Ikizere Washed Red Bourbon, Rwanda


Origin: Southern Province, Nyaruguru District, Rwanda

Producers: Grown by 61 smallholder female producers, names listed below.

Process: Washed by Baho Coffee @ Fugi Washing Station

Varieties: Red Bourbon

Altitude: 1550-1850masl

Importer: Semilla Coffee & Baho Coffee

Roast: Light

Notes: Lemon Drop, Raspberry, Iced Tea, Caramel

Transparency - We paid Semilla $4.50 usd / lb + shipping from montreal to our roastery.

2023 Rwanda national farmgate price: 410 Rwanda Francs per kg cherry.
2023 Baho farmgate price Ikizere washed: 590 Rwanda Francs per kg cherry on delivery, 30kg second payment. 620 RWF/kg total
2023 FOT Kigali price to Baho for Ikizere washed lots: $3.00USD/lb.

Baho & Semilla

Back in 2019, Emmanuel presented Semilla with a bit of a rare thing, fully traceable lots in an East African producing country. These lots went all the way to specific hills near the washing stations where to coffees were grown.

This traceability and transparency is a core value of Baho Coffee in Rwanda. By connecting more closely with producers, we're able to ensure we continue to grow with them in the future. It is also hugely inspirational for the producers, not only getting paid premium bucks for their high quality coffee, but the recognition of seeing their name on these coffees.

"This project at Fugi first began with the Kiyonza Hill group - smallholders living on the nearby Kiyonza mountain - and Ikizere  -the widowed and single mothers group. The recognition these groups have received as smallholders has been so motivating for
the growers that now almost all of them hope to be included in a group. As such, we’ve now expanded to include multiple new hills and also a Senior Men’s group and the Urubyiruko (Youth in Kinyarwanda) group." - semilla

Fugi Ikizere

From our first time buying from Baho via Semilla I knew I wanted to purchase an Ikizere lot and support the amazing work Baho and these ladies are doing.

Originally made up of 23 women in 2019, the group has grown to 61, all single mothers, who are sadly mostly widowed, left being the sole earner for their household.

With the extra money earned through Semilla’s “Farmer’s First Premium Program”, which pays an off season additional premium of 30 francs per kg. The women of the group have have been able to collectively buy more farmland to increase their coffee production.

This acquisition of land is so important to smallholder coffee producers, especially in regions like Rwanda, as more land means more coffee, and ultimately a better income for themselves.

The producers received 590 Rwandan francs, + an additional post harvest payment of 30RWF post harvest per kg of cherry sold to the mill. This is roughly 66% above the national farmgate price of 410RWF. 

Fugi Mill:

This washed coffee is processed at the Fugi Mill, owned by Emmanuel of Baho Coffee. The mill is right between the border of the Nyungwe National forest, and the border of Burndi, in the Southern Province of Rwanda.

It was built in 2013, employs roughly 70 people at peak season, purchases cherry from approximately 950 smallholder farmers, and producers around 900 exportable specialty coffee each year.

"On average, producers bringing coffee to Fugi manage around 600 trees, with a median cherry yield per tree of 3kg - this equals about one and a half exportable bags of green coffee per producer. This figure perfectly exemplifies just how small the average producer is in Rwanda, and it gives some context as to why they are selling to washing stations rather than developing their own costly wet and dry mills." - semilla

Processing -

This Red Bourbon lot is picked at peak ripeness and delivered to the Fugi Mill the same day.

These cherries are sorted by multiple rounds of floating, which allows the better denser coffees to sink to the bottom, skimming off the top later for lower scoring lots.

After the cherries are sorted they are de-pulped and then there is a quick round of double fermentation. first a 8-12 hour dry and then a wet 8-12 hour fermentation in a tank, similar to Kenya’s style of processing.

The coffee is then meticulously washed cleaned, soaked to an even level of hydration, and then put out on raised beds where it will be dried to an exact moisture content of 11% in 30-40 days.

To summarize

The relationships around this coffee are what make me(sonny) excited about being in the coffee industry. Quality of cups aside, it's amazing to see people work together for a common goal of uplifting and growing together, and I feel very privileged to play a very small (and frankly, the easiest) role in this.

Rwanda as a country has been through so much, from brutal German/Belgian colonial rule, to shaky independence, economic crises, and then the genocide. That's why it's so inspiration to see the work of people like Emmanuel and the women of Ikizere who care so deeply for their people and country.

Emmanuel writes -

 “Baho’s vision on community is guided by having a synergetic relationship with the community of farmers that we work with, where we guide them and create solutions in a replicable, sustainable and scalable manner leading to economic growth and poverty reduction. Our overall vision is implied by the meaning of our name, Baho, which in our local language means live/life. It is like a tree that grows up and has branches, flowers and fruits and still keeps its roots in the ground. Baho is born, grows up and sells coffee both locally and internationally and never forgets the origin.”

We hope to to be able to buy more coffee from Baho as we grow, and hopefully continue to watch Baho's branches of producers grow as well.

Thank you if you made it this far down! you can read more at Semilla's website if you're keen.

The growers of Ikizere are - 

Original members 23 members
Costasie Mukamuzima, Epiphanie Ntawangaheza, Theodosie Uwambajimana, Adidja Nyiracumi Vestine Sindikubwabo, Josephine Uwimana, Bernadette Mukandemera, Christine Utarengejeho, Berancilla Baravuga, Mariam Kabagwira, Verediane Mukamparirwa, Angele Mukanyonga , Venantie Nsaguye, Speciose Nyirantashya, Drocelle Nyirarugwiro, Christine Nyandwi, Alphonsine Mukamugema, Seraphine Mukaremera, Marguerite Niyongere, Venantie Mukakizima Veronique Niyonizeye, Cecile Nyiraminani, Emerance Hategekimana

New members as of 2023

Claire Uwimana, Appolinaire Mukakibibi, Sandrine Kabega, Francine Mujawamariya, Veronique Niyonizeye, Soline Mukamurenzi, Valida Uwizeyimana, Xaverine Mukagenzi, Fatma Bankundiye, Providence Mukashyirangabo, Dative Mushimiyimana, Immaculee Dusingize, Mariya Tegibanze, Jacqueline Nyirahabineza, Epiphanie Nyirahabimana, Donatha Ntakirutimana, Christine Nyirabungurabwenge, Marie Grace Dusabe, Donathille Mukakarangwa, Laurence Uwanyirigira, Beatha Mukeshimana, Genevieve Mukamana, Appolinaire Ntambabazi, Philomene Mukarubayiza, Philomene Mukangezahayo, Florida Mukeshimana, Venantie Mutagawa, Beatha Nyiransigiye, Odette Nyiratabaro, Donathe Nirora, Beatha Nyabyenda, Marie Goreth Nsaguye, Clementine Uwitonze, Speciose Mukamugema, Valentine Nyiransengima, Clementine Ahishakiye, Costasie Kwitegetse, Clementine Mukambuguje.

 Thank you for supporting these wonderful women of Rwanda!

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