Mapendo, swahili for “love,” is farmed in 16 separate lots by 4,200 farmers, nearly 40% of which are women. Mapendo farmers produce fully washed coffee that has been certified FTO since 2009. There are 3 washing stations, including one large and two mini washing stations. A fourth station is under construction along with a modern lab for cupping and quality control.
A Farmer’s Story
Fikiri Charlotte’s life has been positively impacted by growing coffee; it’s allowed her to buy a goat for breeding, build a house, and buy another field where she’s planted coffee trees. With the manure produced by the goat, she’s able to strengthen the ecosystem of her farm through the fertilization of the fields.
Cooperative: Cooperative Agricole Muungano
Agricultural Cooperative for Togetherness
Founded in 2009, Cooperative Agricole Muungano’s mission is to reduce incentives of smallholder producers to risk their lives by smuggling Congolese coffee to Rwanda. Additionally, members want to contribute to the economic development of the region by empowering smallholder producers. Coffee from Cooperative Agricole Muungano comes from the Kalehe territory in South Kivu and the Masisi territory in North Kivu.
The founding members came together through a shared belief that by improving quality, sharing resources and working together, there would be fewer incentives to seek short-term solutions like smuggling. Reducing smuggling would allow the community the opportunity and privilege to think about activities that will have a long-term impact and bring prosperity to their communities.
The cooperative currently has 4,200 members, including 1,736 women.