Abahuzamugambi Ba Kawa / Maraba is situated in the Huye district of the Southern province. It comprises four washing stations: Sovu, Kibingo, Cyarumbo and Kabuye, a cupping lab and its own dry mill.
Maraba founded a union of cooperative called “RWASHOSCCO” (Rwanda Small Holder Specialty Coffee Company) alongside five other cooperatives in order to facilitate market access, staff training and good farming practices.
Maraba is the first cooperative in Rwanda to ever produce specialty coffee. “Abahuzamugambi ” in Kinyarwanda means “people who work together to achieve a goal”.
In 2007, Maraba cooperative hosted the golden cup competition, acting as a trial prior the Cup of Excellence competition set to take place the following year.
In 2008 Rwanda hosted the aforementioned CoE competition, becoming the very first African country to ever host the event.
MEMBERS AND FUTURE PROJECTS
The cooperative counts more than 1372 members of which 56% are male and 44% are female. On average each farmer owns 435 trees (making just about 50kg of roasted coffee!)
Pursuing constant improvement and innovation, Maraba are taking on several projects:
Maraba has 4 agronomists whom that helping coffee growers to maintain their coffee plantation as required to increase productivity and quality.
Maraba grows arabica bourbon, in volcanic soil with altitude between 1700-2200.
Project that we have are the following:
- Promoting women’s coffee: the coop counts 673 female coffee growers out of 1469 cooperative members
- Create a farmer’s bank to be able to provide loans to coffee farmers
- Create a supply centre to provide farming tools and seedlings at a more accessible price
- Organic coffee farming
- Coffee tourism
The main coffee process used is the washed method. The coop staff from the four washing stations collect coffee cherries from the cooperative members to ensure they are as fresh as possible and quickly processed, thus producing sweet and clean cup profiles.
The coffee cherries sorted three times: first hand-sorted to remove over- and under-ripe cherries as well as sticks and other foreign matter, then through a water floatation tank where the under-ripe cherries will float, and finally through the depulper, which is calibrated to pulp ripe cherries and leave unripe intact.
After 24-to-48 hours of dry fermentation, depending on weather conditions, the coffee is washed and spread on raised bed where they will dry for a week.
The Maraba cooperative sends us samples of lots that they segregated by washing station and day of wet milling (eg: Kibingo 13.05.20) They usually are small lots ranging from 10-to-30 bags. We cup and select them to create our own Maraba lot which gives us the opportunity to create a unique, bespoke coffee.
In the process, we also get to select stand-out lots for our microlot range! (check out our Sovu washed, Sovu Natural and Kibingo washed microlots)