Rwanda Cyiya Kivubelt
- Cyiya Region
- Washed Process
- 1900-2000 meters
- 10oz whole bean specialty coffee
Cyiya is a small community with a high elevation and distinct forest influence that contribute great potential to the coffee.
Thanks to the farmers making the most of this potential, Cyiya’s coffee is annually among the top lots processed by the Jarama CWS.
Kivubelt was established in 2011 by Furaha Umwizey, after returning to Rwanda with a master’s degree in economics from Switzerland.
Born and raised in Rwanda, Umwizey’s goal with Kivubelt is to create a model coffee plantation, as sustainable in agriculture as it is impactful in local employment and empowerment.
Under Umwizey’s leadership, Kivubelt has planted 90,000 coffee trees on their estates, which now employ more than 400 people during harvest months and is a kind of coffee vocational school for local smallholders interested in improving their farming. Kivubelt has also acquired two washing stations, Murundo and Jarama to vertically integrate with over 500 small growers.
Because Cyiya’s coffee tends to perform so well, contributing farms regularly receive 50% over the local market price for their cherry. Coffee estates like Kivubelt’s are rare in Rwanda, where coffee was originally forced upon remote communities by the Belgians as a colony-funding cash crop.
Coffee was largely abandoned by the Beglian’s after poor performance due to lack of investment, and Rwanda remained in near obscurity until the mid 2000’s when the Partnership for Enhancing Agriculture in Rwanda Through Linkages (PEARL), a sweeping infrastructure and education investment targeting large regions of Rwanda whose coffee was for the most part processed poorly at home and exported with little traceability, uncovered the local Bourbon, rapidly modernizing Rwanda’s coffee growing operations into one of the best African coffee growing regions in the world.
Kivubelt is one example of focused entrepreneurship aimed at a very specific landscape.
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