Burundi is a country that continues to face immense social and political difficulties.Ntarambu is one of the few privately owned washing stations working hard to improve the transparency of the product and provide good working conditions for farmers.
The flavour profile from the Kayanza region in Burundi is similar in a lot of ways to the southern Rwandan coffees like Huye Mountian. In fact Huye Mountain is only about 60miles from the Kayanya village as the crow flies. However, we tend to find Kayanza coffees are more delicate in character and present farm more floral notes of jasmine, rose and orange blossom.
Ntarambu is the name of a very small hillside east of the village of Kayanza. The farmers on this hillside exclusively supply the Mpanga washing station with their cherry and receive extensive training and financial support from SEGEC. The incentive of premiums for quality ensure the farmers bring only the ripest cherries to the station for processing. This coffee presents as true to the character of the region with Lime flower, honey and citrus acidity.
SEGEC are doing their best to mitigate the risk farmers face with fluctuating world coffee prices. They pay an initial fee for delivered cherry with bonuses based on cup quality once the coffee has been sorted and cupped. The lower quality coffees will be blended together and sold commercially with the top performing lots kept separate as microlots. Once the sale is completed with the end buyer SEGEC pay premium to the producers that is a percentage of the premium SEGEC receive. SEGEC also invest heavily in farmer training to ensure the pickers and farm owners bring only the ripest cherries to the station. The bonus payment works to ensure the trainings are adhered to as they can amount to a significant portion a producer’s yearly income.
Muhura - situated in the Gatsibo District in the Eastern Province of Rwanda - was established in 2010 by a local investment company. However, they struggled with financing and approached Rwanda Trading Company (RTC) to begin providing working capital in 2011. RTC provided capital to the station for two seasons before purchasing the station outright in 2013. Since then, the station has processed on average 900 metric tons of cherry, and RTC's investment has upgraded facilities and improved both processing and management capacity at Muhura.
Most notably, RTC's involvement has seen a considerable improvement in the quality the station produces.
MUHURA NATURAL PROCESS:
Sorting was undertaken upon delivery of cherry to remove underripes, then the cherries were taken straight to raised beds for drying. It takes around 30 days to fully dry the cherries. (On average, 7kgs of freshly harvested cherry will yield 1kg of export quality green coffee).