The Akawa project was created to help producers escape the cycle of poverty in a sustainable and equitable way. Producers, striving for fairer remunerations and better living conditions, demanded a path towards prosperity. As such the project's working directives are based around UTZ certification standards, focusing on good agricultural practices, environmental responsibility and social equity as the central tenets of success for project members.
Kiyonza is the first station located outside the Mumirwa Province in which Akawa has historically been operating. It's presence bring sour Project to the border of Rwanda in the North East of Burundi.
Located on a hill overlooking the shores of Lake Rwihinda this station was built from the ground up by our implementing partner in order to provide access to market for the local coffee farmers who until this arrival were relying on mobile buying from stations located far away. This meant they had no permanent presence to whom not only they could sell their cherries but also to have a contact point throughout the year and be able build a trust relationship with.
Mobile units would often take advantage of this by underpaying farmers and requiring very low quality standards in order to fill their trucks. This was detrimental to both the communities in Kiyonza and the quality of their coffee.
The launch of a modern Washing Station in Kiyonza means the farmers will now be able to deliver ripe cherries at a natural pace and will be offered agricultural advises from the Project staff.
The environment in which the farmers live and grow their crops is simply one straight out of a Nat Geo documentary. With Lake Rwihinda at their feet they have abundant supply of fish for feeding and Papyrus to weave baskets and floor mats. A small island on the Lake, named Akagwa Island (a match made in heaven for our Akawa project's name), allows migrating birds from Europe to shelter and regain strength between December and April when they set on their journey back to warmer skies.