Nyampinga, which translates to Beautiful Women - both inside and out, is a women's coffee cooperative in the Nyaruguru district of Southern Rwanda. Over time these under-resourced women have shown increased dedication toward growing quality coffee and connecting with the international market in order to provide better livelihoods for themselves and their families.
Since 2013 the women of Nyampinga have received training in agronomy, market access, and quality control from Sustainable Harvest Rwanda, all thanks to the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies. The result of the farmer's hard work and enhanced knowledge of coffee production has been a resounding improvement in cup quality. Nyampinga coffees are among finest available in all of Rwanda.
“I am a coffee grower. Before, I had been growing it differently than what you have taught. Now I have realized what I need to do to make my coffee better. I will be teaching my neighbors and my cooperative in Nyampinga so that our coffee can be improved for the market. As someone who has participated in the training, when you come back to the village they see you as someone special and are curious to learn what you have learned from the training. They see you as someone who can help them in their daily life because they know you have some skills they don’t have.” —Ntawiha Alivera, Nyampinga Cooperative
“If you work enough, you should get something from your studies. Through trainings and teachings, I was able to get my coffee plantation.” —Mukangango Asterie, Nyampinga Cooperative
Coffee is delivered to the Nyampinga Coffee Washing station from the surrounding area. In this area of Rwanda there are over 2000 farmers who have participated in Sustainable Harvest Rwanda’s training programs. They harvest ripe cherries on the cooperative plot or on small family plots (many containing less than 100 trees) before delivering them directly to the Nyampinga Coffee Washing Station or to a local collector from the cooperative.
At the Coffee Washing Station the coffee is carefully depulped, fermented, washed, and dried on raised African beds. The members of the cooperative and coffee washing station diligently hand sort the coffee at each step of the way.
The women of Nyampinga Cooperative are developing partnerships with dry mills and exporting unions such as Rwashoscco and Mizozi as partners to manage the dehulling of the coffee, final sorting for quality, and reliable and on-time export.