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Rwanda to award best quality coffee farmers

Coffee farmers who have the best quality coffee are set to be awarded slated next week.

The 147 selected coffee farmers with the best quality coffee will be competing for the Cup of Excellence award. Only 10 best candidates will be awarded.

The competitors who qualified at National level will be evaluated by an international jury which include cuppers. The awards are scheduled on the 10 August.

According to the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) press release, states that the 8th Cup of Excellence, is one of the most esteemed international award given out for top quality coffees in a country.

It further states these awards come from a strict competition that selects the very best coffee produced in one specific country for a particular year.

“It is in line with the responsibility of NAEB to promote sustainable increased returns to small coffee farmers through increasing volume and quality of production and improved marketing. The Cup of Excellence stimulates the sales and the image of those roasters who acquired the best coffees during auctions and has been a linkage between Rwandan coffee farmers and buyers who appreciate top quality coffee and are willing to pay a premium price for it. For example, the first winner coffee lot at the previous competition was sold at 84USD per Kg. The competition has dramatically enhanced the lives of the farmers, their families and the community at large,” reads the press release.

NAEB registered to be member of International Coffee Organization and Alliance Coffee Excellence who prepare the international quality coffee competition known as Cup of Excellence.

Rwanda started to participate in Cup of Excellence since 2008 and many outcomes have been recorded since then: The winning coffees have mainly attracted buyers from Asia, Europe and United States of America where coffee consumption is exponentially increasing and where high specialty coffee is remarkably appreciated.

Irene Muziga, a consumer, residing in Kigali, the Cup of Excellence award label is a guarantee for top coffee that has been judged to be best by professional cuppers. “Often these award-winning coffees are so good that consumer’s expectations over coffee’s taste are definitely exceeded,” she says.

Contestants

According to NAEB, many previous winners of Cup of Excellence (CoE) have made it in this pre selection stage.

They include MIG Buremera coffee company in Nyamagabe district who won the inaugural CoE in 2008 with their coffee being sold at $39.68 per kilo during an online auction that followed their win.

This gave MIG (Multi Investment Group-formerly Multi Investissement de Gikongoro), a company of Nyamagabe natives and friends to fetch a total $455,085 that was shared with coffee farmers who supply the company as per the CoE criteria.

Coopac Mushonyi from Rutsiro district and winner of 2010 are also part of the competitors and so are their neighbors of Api Mushonyi who won in 2011.

Also Gitesi coffee washing station, the champion of 2012 is competing for another award.

The CoE remained in the Western Province for three consecutive years. In 2013, Caferwa Gishugi from Nyamasheke district emerged the winner. They are also back to compete with pears.

Muhondo coffee company from Gakenke district in the Northern Province, winner of the biggest price ever in auction with $82.57 per kilogram in 2014 is also among the competing companies.

They were followed in 2015 by their neighboring Muyongwe coffee company which is also among the favorite companies for this year’s award.

Damascene Nsengimana Managing Director of Muyongwe coffee washing station told Express News that there are hopes of winning after preparing enough for long time.

“We have prepared enough our farmers from the planting to harvesting,” he says.

Nsengimana said that they have taken two lots to the competition.

“To stand a chance of winning cup of Excellency one ought to have exceptional coffee that has good taste, aroma, flavor and humidity and other details that attract cuppers,” he says

“And we have all those requirements,” He adds

Coffee farmers and Coffee Washing Stations have to avoid external interferences including; dust, diseased coffee and reaping green coffee beans.

American Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE), the international organization which partners with coffee farming countries to organize cup of excellence every year will be among of the top evaluators.

The Expresss News

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