Kavugangoma Washing Station
In 1993 after high school, when the war started I left Burundi for South Africa where I did my maritime studies then I went to USA for more courses and worked in different countries but when peace returned to Burundi I decided to go back to my home and get involved in the coffee business.
Because coffee was always my family business – my grand father introduced coffee in my area in 1932 after his studies in Butare in Rwanda (Astrida then a Belgium school) – so I decided to promote coffee with the target to produce the highest quality which can be sold in international market at a good price and as an environmental justice activist I had to take lots things in consideration especially when it comes to protect our environment.
During my investigation some farmers told me that they use to walk ten to twenty miles to get to the nearest washing station where they could wait more than 12 hours before their cherries could be received by washing station staff, they told me as well they used to get beaten up while they were queuing.
On 11 February 2008, I started building this washing stations in the North-East of Burundi at my birth place in Muyinga Province exactly Mwakiro commune. Our product is: AKAVUGANGOMA COFFEE the name comes from the fact that the washing station is located on the Kavugangoma hill, which means the sound of the drums. In our Burundi tradition all the drums were made from a tree called Umuvugangoma and from the kingdom era they use to plant this type trees in this area. This washing station took me 4 years to finish and now I am on my fourth production year.
While I was building I started planting coffee on my 20 hectares plot where I only use organic fertilizers with lots of shade trees in between, introducing honey project and help the coffee for polarization, planting trees along roads, rehabilitating rural roads in partnership with world food program, helping in school building and so on…
Burundi has 18 provinces now divided into around 130 communes and around 3000 collines.
Around 18 collines surrounding my washing station supply me all the cherries. Some people told me that the quality could be different a bit due to their altitudes, soils and they way the plantation are managed and the distance the cherries has to travel to get to my washing station and that why I start processing cherries separately by collines with nearly same characteristics. With this system the cherries is collected fresh and quick to get to my washing station for quality purposes.
At the moment we are improving everything because we are in the process of certification.
Two years ago we were qualified #3 worldwide by (soil and more) from Sweden as a company which produce nearly footprint-free because we do not produce emission at our washing station except the pulping motor and when our coffee has to go to the port with truck otherwise most of our cherries is brought in by bicycles and we use solar energy for our lighting. You will see as well in the reports attached how clean the water used in our process is. It was captured from 3 km distance in which we build 3 more points for the community to fetch water from. The pulpers from the coffee process are used as fertilizers for my plantation and my neighbors.
This washing station is one of the kinds in the country with lots of trees and coffee farms around it lots of flowers and fruits trees are getting planted as well. The Kavugangoma washing station is located north of the country, in Muyinga province, near the Ruvubu National Park and has three main innovations:
- Environment latrines for workers and visitors. They are double chambers, the phreatic nape are protected, they are very clean, they have confortable seats, once they are build is forever, they are no use of water with them, and we collect both urine and fecal matter for fertilizers.
- Gravity water: the coffee is washed by clean water from the mountain surrounding the washing station and workers and visitors use this water for their daily need this water was brough in from around 3 km.
- Installation of the best filtration and recycle system of all the dirty used water to protect all the people living around the washing station and in particular and the environment in general. As single partner i manage my company properly without outside interference although is very challenging to get pre-finance for my farmers, i still produce the best coffee with a good follow up on my suppliers. For the past years we have been contribute in building public infrastructures for the community and helping our farmers with small loans for their home needs like cements, roofing sheet, fertilizers, school material for their children and so on....
African Promotion Company has gained a reputation for producing probably the best quality coffee in the country and pays more money to his farmers compared to other operators in area.
Even his Excellence the president of Burundi , Nkurunziza Peter, has recognized our ability to develop the country through a sustainable rural development programs from his visit to our factory and other high profile officials include government ministers (you will see pictures). The Africa coffee association (AFCA) nominated my company as the company of the month in July 2013. Currently we have lot of long term projects in particular for our farmers and the country in general. From last year I was elected to lead the provincial coffee washing station alliance and I am busy promoting the use of organic fertilizers especially in my province and the country in general, planting shade trees in most of the coffee plantations.
The only well rippened cherries are handpicked by the farmer on the tree. Cherries are floated before delivery to the washing station. Cherries are also sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmer. At the washing station, the same process of sorting is done again by the farmer, before it is accepted.
The same day, the coffee is pulped by a 4 disc pulper machine and the output product which is parchment coffee is fermented by a double fermentation process. After that, the coffee is separated into 4 grades, based on density, in the grading channel. Finally, the parchment coffee is soaked under clean water for about 12 hours.
Thanks and if you need more info please do not hesitate to ask.
|Farm Name||Kavugangoma (Aproco)|
|Size (30kg boxes)||14|
|Aroma/Flavor||Chocolate, green apple, honey, caramel, sweet mint, mango, salted plum, hops|
|Acidity||Zingy, malic, lime|
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)||925.94|
|High bidders||EL CAFE coffee roasters|