SPOTLIGHT: Coffee farmers graduate from innovative training program | The new times
In collaboration with the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), Sustainable Growers Rwanda will launch a farmer graduation ceremony in six districts, namely Gicumbi, Gakenke, Kayonza, Nyaruguru, Rusizi and Nyamasheke.
5,046 female coffee farmers across the country will graduate from a one-year training in best agricultural practices in coffee, home roasting, storytelling for leadership and market access activities.
These women farmers were trained by Sustainable Growers – Rwanda, a local non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the economic independence of women farmers and their families through coffee training and market access.
Six graduation ceremonies, one in each district, will be held from May 11 to June 2 to celebrate the end of this program. Local government officials and partners will be on hand to help celebrate each farmer’s progress and professional development.
Thanks to the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Sustainable Growers has the opportunity to align its efforts with the government’s broader national goals to improve productivity, quality and strengthen market access for the coffee sector.
The successful model of training, trade and public-private partnership promotes the economic inclusion of women farmers and their families.
Since 2014, Sustainable Growers Rwanda has worked in 13 districts and supported 77 cooperatives, 25 coffee washing stations and 38,056 women coffee farmers, as direct beneficiaries. Farmers were trained in teams of 15, led by female extension leaders.
At graduation ceremonies, farmers receive certificates of completion and are rewarded with different types of assets which include livestock (cows and goats), specific farm equipment (sprayers, pruners, pruning saws, hoes, pitchforks), basic materials for the house (mattresses, fabrics/ibitenge, radios and telephones).
“Thanks to our program called Premium Sharing Rewards (PSR), a program known as “Wakoze neza Muhinzi“In Kinyarwanda, we reward women coffee farmers for implementing best agricultural practices “BAP” and adopting government initiatives such as health insurance, creation of vegetable gardens, schooling, clean household latrines and Ejo Heza,” said Ms. Christine Condo, Sustainable Growers Executive Director.
“PSR is an important pillar of our program as it is through this program that farmers are monitored and evaluated by our monitoring and evaluation team based on individual coffee farms over a 12 month period. For each of the training programs, farmers receive grades based on their performance and at the end of the year they receive a certificate of completion and incentives based on their performance to motivate them,” he said. she noted.
“We have a busy agenda to enrich the potential of women with skills and means. Their focus and discipline inspire me a lot. These initiatives have a positive impact on the entire life cycle of their respective families and communities,” added Condo.
“The graduation festivities mark the achievement of a significant milestone by both female coffee farmers and sustainable growers,” said Lambert, director of Sustainable Growers.
Mrs. Florence Niyomahoro, coffee producer and president of Mayogi Cooperative; pointed out that working with Sustainable Growers has contributed to the growth of the cooperative.
“Today, the members of the cooperative learned about the coffee value chain, from seed to cup. “Not only do we have a well-run cooperative, but our members also know all the techniques needed to grow good coffee and to process different types of coffee, including fully washed coffee, honey or naturally processed coffee,” said Niyomahoro.
“During harvest, we can brew our coffee using our tasting lab with the support of our professional quality control manager, as well as brew coffee for our guests or our farmers using the coffee brewing equipment available at co-op level We were able to do all this thanks to the support of Sustainable Growers. Thanks to Sustainable Growers, our coffee can today achieve a score of more than 90 SCAA, classified in the category “presidential coffee”, she concluded.