Burundi Gakenke Microlot, Light Roast
Cupping notes: Green Apple/Almond/Honeysuckle/Currant
Grower: Smallholder farmers delivering to Gakenke washing station
Variety: Red Bourbon
Region: Gatara, Kayanza
Altitude: 1500 – 1800 meters
Process: Full natural and dried on raised beds
Gakenke station has 2,685 registered farmer members, spread over 22 hills in Gatare commune, Kayanza province. These are organized in groups of 30 people, headed by a producer leader to facilitate communication and organization with the washing station. The farmers typically have an average of 250 trees.
The washing station participates in a number of farmer outreach and support projects including a livestock rearing project and a range of Farmer Hub projects centered on strengthening cooperatives and improving yields.
Most coffee trees in Burundi are Red Bourbon for reasons of quality. Because of the increasingly small size of coffee plantings, aging rootstock is a very big issue in Burundi. Many farmers have trees that are over 50 years old, but with small plots to farm, it is difficult to justify taking trees entirely out of production for the 3-4 years it will take new plantings to begin to yield. In order to encourage farmers to renovate their plantings, Greenco purchases seeds from the Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU), establishes nurseries and sells the seedlings to farmers at or below cost.
Despite the ubiquity of coffee growing in Burundi, each smallholder producers a relatively small harvest. The average smallholder has approximately 250 trees, normally in their backyards. Each tree yields an average of 1.5 kilos of cherry so the average producer sells about 200-300 kilos of cherry annually.