Producer: Ingoboka Cooperative
Region: Rutsiro District, Western Province
Altitude: 1600 – 2100 masl
Located along the eastern shore of Lake Kivu, about a 40 minute
moto-ride south of Gisenyi, the Ingoboka Cooperative was
established in 2004 and made up of 135 members, 47 of whom
are women farmers. In recent years, this cooperative has made
huge strides in their efforts to produce specialty grade coffees.
Our own Coffee Manufactory team member, Matthew Jung-Quillen,
lived and worked at this washing station in 2015, where he
was involved in coordinating a “New Harvest Agenda”, which
aimed to maximize the quality of the coffee cherries and parchment
produced in this region.
Emphasis was placed on instructing farmers on selective cherry
picking, as well as establishing new teams which implemented
quality control measures during the processing of cherries.
Washing station teams included Cherry Receivers, which
selected only the ripe and defect free cherries to be weighed
and documented, Machinist Teams which ‘floated’ cherries in
water to remove low density ‘floaters’, oversaw depulping and
cherry waste removal, a Sorting Team which again floated and
sorted the cherries before dry fermenting overnight, a Washing
Team which was then responsible for a 24hr wet fermentation,
followed by grading and vigorous washing. And lastly, the Drying
Team, which would complete one final hand sort and a 3-week
drying period on raised beds under the sun.
Additional to process improvements, this “New Harvest Agenda”
resulted in facility upgrades like new drying and sorting beds,
re-sealing epoxy soaking tanks, replacement hulling disks, weigh
scales, and even the establishment of daily reports that helped
expedite the payment to both washing station workers and
farmers. Ingoboka Cooperative maintains a children’s school fund
to assist members with education expenses and a health
insurance program to improve access to medical care.