“The cooperative is important for us because I have three children in secondary school—they are orphans from the genocide. We are farmers, and coffee is the crop that we use to raise the money for school tuition.”
The Dukunde Kawa Cooperative
Stretching across a meandering chain of ridges and hills near the town of Musasa, in northern Rwanda, the 2,000+ members of the Dukunde Kawa Cooperative represent a new beginning for Rwanda and its hopes for the future. Working on plots of land so small that farmers often reference their farm size by the number of trees rather than the number of acres, a community recovering from the scars of a recent genocide is laying the foundation for peace and a prosperous future.
Coffee is the economic lifeblood of Rwanda, accounting for nearly 80% of the country’s export earnings. In rural communities like Musasa, coffee provides income to families for their children’s education, for healthcare, and for the maintenance of their homes and farms. Working together as a cooperative, the members of Dukunde Kawa have been able to increase the quality of their coffee and the value by at least four times.
We have worked closely with Dukunde Kawa since 2004 on a variety of social, economic, and environmental projects aimed at improving the quality of the farmers’ coffee and strengthening the cooperative and the benefits it offers to its members. The farmers are well on their way to establishing a strong and lasting cooperative. We are committed to ensuring that they are not alone in this process; both as a trusted buyer for their beautiful coffee and as a close project partner, we will continue to support the farmers and the development of their cooperative.