Coffee
  • Ruanda Fugi - El Magnífico
  • Ruanda Fugi - El Magnífico

Ruanda Fugi

The Washing Station

Fugi Washing Station was founded by a group of young individuals, inspired by the success their parents and neighbours had with coffee cultivation. Emmanuel Rutasira (founder of Baho Coffee) encouraged these young people to ask their parents for a piece of land to manage and with this, he initiated a special program for young farmers in Nyarunguru.
Emmanuel provided them with free seeds to kickstart their own coffee farms and after three years, they began delivering their cherries to the Fugi washing station. The group comprises 37 farmers, all around 30 years old.
Baho Coffee acquired this station in 2016 and has since worked hand in hand with coffee farmers, guiding and educating them on adopting best agricultural practices in order to increase the quality of their coffee. The name “Fugi” is derived from the hill where the station is situated.

Baho Coffee

Emmanuel Rusatira embarked on his journey as founder and owner of Baho Coffee in 2013. His decision to do so came after a long career in the coffee sector, initially working as a washing station manager. Baho Coffee now manages four washing stations across Rwanda.
Alongside providing a number of educational, financial and agricultural services to farmers, Baho Coffee has also established several social programs aimed at helping farmers, especially marginalised groups such as women, older farmers and youth.
This approach stems from the personal experiences of Rusatira, who was personally affected by the 1994 Rwandan genocide and has first-hand knowledge of the loss numerous families suffered as they lost their male relatives during this tragic period. Rusatira explains that many Rwandan households are now headed by women.

Process

Cherries are harvested at their peak point of ripeness and taken to the Fugi Washing Station, where they undergo a meticulous double sorting process, with Fugi workers carefully re-sorting the ripest cherries for optimal processing.
Following this step, the cherries are pulped using a Mackinon pulper before undergoing a 12-hour dry fermentation period. Once this process is complete, the parchment coffee is soaked in clean water for 8 hours to guarantee removal of the mucilage before being washed through sorting channels.
All Baho stations employ their own expanded grading system to separate beans into different qualities and sizes. Most stations typically have three categories of bean: A, B, and C, with A representing the largest and highest quality. Notably, at Baho Coffee stations, grade A is divided into three grades and grade B into two separate grades, while C remains a single category.
Following sorting, the parchment is transported to one of two drying shelters at the Fugi station. These covered areas provide shade, allowing the coffee to rest while station employees sort the wet parchment, removing any defective beans. Subsequently, the parchment is transferred to elevated racks to dry under direct sunlight. When temperatures rise too high, sheets are used to cover the beans, preventing excessive heat. Overall, the process of drying fully washed parchment at Fugi typically spans approximately 33 to 40 days.

Origen

Rwanda’s coffee industry dates back to 1904 when it was introduced by German missionaries. The climate, altitude and the predominance of the Bourbon variety give its coffee an unparalleled quality.
In the early 1990s, coffee was Rwanda’s most lucrative export, with some 45,000 tonnes being shipped out of the country, supporting many small farmers.
In 1994, the terrible genocide killed almost a million people. With it, a large part of the specialised knowledge in coffee growing was destroyed, profoundly affecting the country’s economy. Today, this country produces less than half of the coffee it exported in 1990. However, despite the tragic events that have shaken its recent history, Rwanda retains its enormous potential in the coffee sector.
The PEARL Aid Plan (Partnership for Enhancing Agriculture in Rwanda through Linkages) was designed in 2000, with the objective of rebuilding agricultural institutions, production capacity and human capital. Now, small coffee growers can sell directly to expert specialty coffee buyers, receiving high prices for the exceptional quality of their product.
Approximately 420,000 people in Rwanda today are directly or indirectly related to the coffee industry. Notably, quality coffee has a more stable price than commercial coffee, and this has led to an improvement in the standard of living of many coffee farmers and their families. Moreover, coffee plays a role in contributing to the reconciliation of the main ethnic groups: Hutus and Tutsis; we now see them working together, side by side, towards the common goal of producing superior coffee.

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