Situated high in Rwanda’s rugged northwest, Nkara is the latest washing station to be built by the Musasa Dukunde Kawa cooperative. By providing farmers in the region the chance to combine their harvests and process them centrally, the co-op has helped significantly increase their income and improve lives. In reference to the power coffee has to positively impact the lives of these rural communities, ‘Musasa’ means ‘a place to stay’ and ’Dukunde Kawa’ translates to ‘let’s love coffee’.
The transformational SPREAD and PEARL programmes have proved invaluable in rebuilding Rwanda’s coffee production in the wake of the 1994 genocide and have succeeded in switching focus from quantity to quality coffee production. This focus on quality is clear at Nkara, with the co-op producing outstanding lots, such as this coffee, year after year.
Co-op social programs greatly contribute to the livelihood of the community. School fees and medical insurance are provided along with coffee cultivation training. Cows are gifted as bonus payment for quality cherry. The highly prized ‘bonus’ cows not only produce milk, which helps improve diets and provides supplementary income for farmers, they also provide fertiliser for crops! There is also a fleet of tailor-made bikes to help smallholders deliver to washing stations.