Specialty Coffee from RWANDA Muzo
Meet the person behind this cafe
Baho Coffee owns and manages 10 washing stations in Rwanda, located in different coffee-producing regions with different quality potentials, and another two in Burundi. The company, which sells smallholder coffee to customers around the world, has more than 100,000 members, including growers. It also partners with farmers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help them understand and implement best practice coffee processing methods.
When harvesting this Red Bourbon, the Ganenke farmers or pickers brought the coffee to the wet mill in 3 hours, the cherries were sorted, floated and pulped directly the same day. Afterwards, 24-hour dry fermentation was used.
Baho founder Rusatira Emmanuel studied agricultural engineering, rural development and agribusiness studies at the university. After graduation, he spent 12 years working for a multinational coffee exporter in Rwanda that has operations around the world. He established Baho in 2017, driven by a passion to empower smallholder farmers in Rwanda who are marginalized despite producing delicious coffee.
In Kinyarwanda, an official language of Rwanda, "baho" means "stay strong" and "never give up." Using the word for the name of his company was a decision that is entwined with his past, one in which he rose from the depths of despair.
Unity is strength
When Emmanuel says that he wants to be a partner of coffee farmers 365 days a year, it is not a nice-sounding slogan. He means it, as evidenced by Baho's various programs aimed at building closer relationships with farmers. For Baho, coffee farmers are the foundation of the business.
One such program seeks to help farmers improve their production techniques. Employees well-versed in agricultural engineering regularly visit farmers and suggest better cultivation methods.
Baho organizes its producer partners into small groups and appoints a leader in each. Leaders are tasked with identifying challenges facing farmers in their group and reporting the issues to agricultural engineers.
Baho also runs a program to support the lives of producers. For example, the company provides them with financial assistance when they apply for help with tuition costs, health insurance costs, or operating funds before harvest seasons.
“We want our farmers to feel part of Baho when they work. When someone buys your coffee, we pay them an incentive as if we were giving them a gift. That's because they're family."
A country of around 10 million people, Rwanda is said to have approximately 500,000 small coffee farmers. They produced great coffee. But its price was kept low because the country was not well known in the international coffee market. This was one of the causes of poverty among farmers.