Kahawatu Burundi celebrates its 2nd anniversary

Source: IWACU Burundi | 2nd October 2015 | In Publi Reportage | Article written by Esperance Ndayikengurukiye (Kahawatu)

On Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015, the Governor of the Ngozi province, together with Kahawatu Burundi’s partners (ARFIC, CNAC, INTERCAFE, ABS, the Federation of Coffee Growers of Ngozi and its neighbouring provinces Kayanza and Muyinga) conducted a field visit to evaluate the achievements after two years of the projects’ presence in the country. Especially the modern techniques such as integrated pest management, the very healthy looking plants in the coffee nurseries and an innovative method of producing organic manure caught the attention of the committee.

Kahawatu has, since the start of its operations, organized practical and theoretical trainings on good agricultural practices with a particular emphasis on mixed fertilizer application, pruning, mulching, weeding, management of diseases and pests of coffee, erosion control, as well as the production and the preservation of coffee quality. Furthermore, Kahawatu provides workshops on ‘coffee as a family business’, financial literacy, as well as supports the farmers with agricultural equipment, fertilizer and coffee seedlings.

In the community of Mububga, the committee visited a women association named RAMADUFATENEMUNDA. This association benefits from the trainings provided by Kahawatu. In addition, Kahawatu facilitates the sharing of knowledge through exchange visits with other associations and/or cooperatives. The women do also participate in 3 of the 13 ‘saving & loan groups’ that have been established this year. The visitors were quite impressed by the work achieved so far. “We have received some land and are preparing it to grow coffee in November. We also established composts and are planting fodder trees for erosion control- our plantation should become a model farm,” explains Annociate Bamboneyeho, president of the association. She added that after a few members visited the IWCA Burundi chapter in the neighbouring province Kayanza, they are now even more motivated to succeed and produce high quality coffee. The group also went to visit Audacie SINGIRANKABO, a member of RAMADUFATANEMUNDA, at her home.

Audacie has just received one of 44 goats that have been provided by Kahawatu to the association. After one breeding cycle, she has to pass on some offspring to another member of the association according to the ‘solidarity chain’ principle. This initiative will help the women to feed their families and earn much-needed cash by marketing meat, milk and other products. 

In the Kavumu community, the visitors met with one of the ‘saving & loan groups’ established by Kahawatu. Claver NZIMPORA, president of the Federation ‘Bonakure’, provided advice to these coffee growers concerning the management of the funds and the choice of the members of the management committee. Jumaine HUSSEIN, member of the Board of Directors of Kahawatu Burundi, encouraged these growers to save money and to help each other mutually at the level of their groups.

The committee continued to visit the coffee tree nurseries, newly installed coffee plantations and Kahawatu’s newest introduction: beetle traps. “With its design adapted to the biology of the insect and its powerful attractive blend, the trap is a sustainable weapon to reduce the coffee berry borer population, which can cause yield losses of 30% with 100% of berries infested at harvesting time,” explains Philippe NYANDWI, agronomist of Kahawatu Burundi. “The beetle trap is a new technique, accessible to growers. We encourage Kahawatu to popularize this approach, and to continue the collaboration and sharing of experiences with other stakeholders in the sector,” insisted Cesar MAYELE, Executive Secretary of the National Confederation of Burundi coffee farmers associations (CNAC).

At the end of the visit, the agronomists of Kahawatu demonstrated the compost tea extraction method; a technique for producing a liquid extract of compost, rich in micro-organisms for an accelerated mineralization of organic manure applied to coffee trees. “This technique has caught my attention in particular, and I think this can help in the fertilization of coffee trees which is weak at the national level,” said Oscar BARANYIZIGIYE, executive secretary of INTERCAFE.

The visit ended with a discussion rich in suggestions and recommendations between the visitors and the Kahawatu Burundi team. On behalf of the visitor committee, Macaire NTIRANDEKURA, Vice President of INTERCAFE welcomed the initiative to organize an annual forum to facilitate the exchange with the different stakeholders involved in the Burundian coffee industry.