In Rwanda, the coffee sector shows a growing gap between ageing coffee farmers and the up-and-coming generation. There is a need to attract youths to join the coffee business, and more particularly the production. To tackle this challenge Agriterra is partnering with primary coffee processors, to attract young people to get involved along the entire value chain of coffee. Read below the success story of Abakundakawa cooperative.
1999 - Abakundakawa cooperative in Rwanda is created. It is involved in collecting cherries from members, pulping, washing, fermenting, sorting, drying and transportation to their dry mill
2004 - The cooperative is legally registered
2018 - The cooperative is dominated by senior member farmers. Less than 100 youth were members and inactive.
“In the beginning the youth just enjoyed working at cooperative coffee washing stations as casual workers, without thinking about possibilities of becoming coffee producers and entrepreneurs. Like many other youths in the world, we wanted only quick wins. We could not imagine how to invest in coffee production; a crop that takes almost 3 years to get the first harvest."
2019 - Abakundakawa cooperative organises mobilization events in the village in collaboration with Agriterra, to attract youths in the entire coffee value chain. The event took place in the form of a football tournament.
Jean Marie Ntakirutimana, business advisor Agriterra:
"After realising that the cooperative is much willing to involve youth in their future plan, I proposed to create a special brand for youth and the cooperative. They went on with the idea and although it is at initial stage, they are hoping to export the first coffee under youth brand the coming months. There is already a buyer who has shown interest in buying coffee under this initiative. I strongly believe that in the near future, this brand will be popular worldwide and both youths and cooperative will benefit from it."
July 2021 - The first batch of green beans under the youth brand is sold! A total of 2.7 metric tons was bought by This Side Up, a Dutch coffee buyer. The youth get a bonus for coffee that is being sold under their brand.
Remember it all started with a football tournament, followed by a Kick-Off Workshop, the formation of a youth council, different trainings that were offered to young people and now we are aiming high at the international market,…..The best is yet to come!!