Ngoma Washing Station
Ngoma is a newer station purchased by Emmanuel Rusatira in 2019. It’s located in the Nyamasheke district of Rwanda, directly off the shores of Lake Kivu. 780 farmers deliver to this station, which translates to around 575 bags (1.5 containers) of exportable green coffee each season.
In Sundog Trading’s words:
As is standard practice for Baho-owned stations – training, inputs , and substantial contributions towards health insurance premiums are provided for all farmers delivering. Furthermore, each station has an agronomist on site that organizes training sessions focused on topics such as coffee plant care (planting, fertilizing, pruning, harvesting, etc), environmental protection, and importance of our traceability efforts. Various inputs like fertilizers and new coffee seedlings are provided free of cost to all farmers. Baho is involved a step further here as well – helping farmers with transportation to gather materials and lending tools/equipment when necessary.
JMV Usekanabagoyi & Baho’s Single Farm Initiative:
It is not common to see much in the way of single farm coffee lots coming out of Rwanda for a multitude of reasons, and this level of traceability with smallholder producers is exciting see. It is possible thanks to the detailed record keeping on Emmanuel’s part at the station level.
In Sundog’s words:
Our interest in smaller lot separations began in 2019 when Emmanuel presented to us a handful of coffees that were traced back to communities surrounding specific hills. This initiative immediately sparked our interest and kickstarted our discussions on how we could expand and deepen this type of traceability. As buyers, it’s always exciting to find more information about where coffee is coming from; but furthermore, Emmanuel made it very clear that it was helpful to Baho and their producer network as well. It created the opportunity to more directly support coffee growers and hopefully motivate them to continue in specialty.
Coffee cherry floating and sorting are done at home by JMV and family before delivering to Ngoma station. Cherry delivery generally occurs within 4 hours from time of picking. It’s then depulped, and the wet parchment then undergoes a 14 hour dry fermentation before being washed to remove any remaining mucilage and separated by density, before being submerged again for another 8-10 hours.
It is dried on shaded beds for 12-72 hours, and sorted again for defects, including seed bitten by Antestia (thought to be the cause of the potato defect) that can be seen more easily when the parchment is wet. Then, it’s finally moved into full sun and turned on raised drying beds, until moisture content reaches the target of 10.5 – 11.0%. The parchment is bagged and stored in a dry warehouse at Ngoma until time for milling. Thanks to the cool breezes coming off of Lake Kivu, drying times are rather long at Ngoma – 47 days total for this lot.
Rwanda national farmgate price for cherry* – 410 rwf/kg
Baho farmgate price paid to JMV for cherry* – 650 rwf/kg + 50 rwf/kg second payment
FOT price paid to Baho Coffee – 3.63 usd/lb
FOB price paid to Sundog Trading – 5.30 usd/lb
In addition, we are contributing an additional payment to Baho Coffee of $0.50 usd/lb with the assistance of Sundog Trading. We purchased a total of 330 lbs of JMV this season.
*Whole coffee cherries are typically 6x the weight of green coffee parchment.