Perhaps the station with the most revered coffees of all our Rwandan speciality lots, Gitwe is in fact the smallest washing station of all Rwanda Trading Company’s stations in the Western Province. Covering an area of less than 1 hectare, Gitwe is blessed with being situated at the top of a mountain valley at almost 2000 metres. Just 3km from Gatare and near to the town of Kamina in the Karambi sector, Gitwe is the name of the land on which the station is built. Healthy coffee trees and tropical fruit line the trail down to the station from the road above.
Built recently in 2016 and bought by RTC in 2018 who employed 6 staff full time with the addition of 50 during the season. 90% are women. Despite being a tiny station, 1020 farmers contribute to Gitwe’s annual production of 500 tons of cherry, which is all high scoring specialty quality, all of whom have received training through RTC’s training program. Farm sizes range from just 150 coffee trees to 6000 (2.5 hectares). Though most farms are 2-3km from the station, many of the farmers are elderly with limited mobility and so the area is serviced by RTC through 15 cherry collection points.
Station manager, Augustin, is from Kigali but after a period of ill health left the city in favour of the mountain air and rural environment. He left the city to manage and live near the washing station in 2018 and has not been sick since.
White Gooseberry, Cola, Complex