The Women Coffee Farmers of Rwanda: A Sustainable Source of Growing Coffee through Leadership

The Women of Hingakawa have seen one of the darkest periods of Rwandan history. They made a decision to make poverty their mutual enemy rather than each other & heal through coffee and leadership, and here's how.

We are proud to introduce you to the women of Hingakawa Women’s Coffee Cooperative. The Hingakawa (“Let’s Grow Coffee”) Association is actually only one half of the Abakundakawa-Rushashi (“Those Who Love Coffee”) Cooperative which was formed in 2004, becoming the first Women’s Farmer Association of its kind in Rwanda. The other half of Abakundakawa Rushashi is the Dakundakawa (“We love Coffee”) Association, also 100% run by women. Both associations are located in the northern, mountainous regions of the Gakenke district, situated at 1700-1900 meters elevation and spread across five distinct zones. The coffee is a bourbon varietal, washed and sun dried.

In a country like Rwanda there are few roads, and trucks are outside the reach of most subsistence farmers. Much of the coffee makes its way to the washing station on foot, or more recently, on specially designed bicycles. Washing stations are being built all over Rwanda to be close to where coffee is grown. 

The women of Hingakawa have seen one of the darkest periods of Rwandan history. Since this group includes both Hutu and Tutsi, the women made a decision to make poverty their mutual enemy rather than each other; and with this sentiment, they have been able to move forward and heal their community through their leadership. The role of women in coffee can no longer be undermined, unnoticed, or gone un-incentivized. The trick is getting to know “who” they are and these are one of the truest agrarian coffee farmers in the world.

This coffee from Hingakawa is the real life representation of the sacrifice and resolve of the female cooperative members who were daring enough to plant seeds of hope on the very same Rwanda hilltops where many lost their lives in a violent civil war. The two co-op associations employ both Hutu and Tutsi women, the two tribes who were infamously at the center of the heart wrenching conflict. After Rwanda’s coffee producing farms were for a time left deserted, several organizations began to assist in restarting production. Hingakawa, as the name suggests, is more of a chant than it is a mere statement; it is a resolution to fight against poverty rather than each other, and with this sentiment they have been able to move forward and heal their community through cooperation and leadership. 

Cup Characteristics: 

  • Classic Rwandan wine-like profile and complex acidity shine through with plenty of citrus and sweetness to round out the cup. Layered, chewy and jam filled cup with a lot of character.Very clean, crisp and balanced cup, with medium to lightly-heavy acidity (not as much as Kenya or Ethiopia). Pleasant, sweet orange lemony citrus with a hint of vanilla...excellent alternative to Kenya coffees.
  • Producer: Hingakawa Women's Co-op, RFA Certified
  • District:Gakenke / Rushashi; Variety: Bourbon
  • Processing: Fully Washed & Sun-Dried; Altitude: 5,500 - 6,200 ft (1700 - 1900 m) Coffee Grading: A: Harvest: March - June

The journey and authenticity of both the producers and product are fully traceable and verified by a third party source. The details to chain of custody tracking allow us to recognize these incredible women and understand what makes this coffee as special as it tastes.

Join us in celebrating and supporting the Hutu and Tutsi women coffee farmers of Rwanda and let's make this a mission of support during this critical time and into the future as well.

The Coffee Teams at RhoadsRoast Coffees







1 comment

  • hupejscytk

    Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?

Leave a comment

Back to the top