Rwanda is blessed with ideal coffee growing conditions that include high altitude, regular rainfall, volcanic soils with good organic structure and an abundance of Bourbon. The vast majority of Rwandan coffee is produced by smallholders of which there are thought to be around half a million with parcels of land often not much larger than just one hectare per family. Coffee is grown in most parts of the country, with particularly large concentrations along Lake Kivu and in the southern province. Rwandan smallholders organise themselves into cooperatives and share the services of centralised wet-mills – or washing stations as they are known locally. Flowering takes place between September and October and the harvest runs from March to July, with shipments starting in late May, early June.
Kanyege is a washing station privately owned and operated by Alphonse Kayijuka. The station was built in 2013, and 2014 was its first operational season, where it produced 30 tons of quality parchment. It is located in the western part of Nyamasheke district, in the Macuba Sector and Kanyege cell, at an altitude of 1886 metres. All coffee is processed using an 800 kg/hr Penagos ecopulper, dry fermented for 12 hours, and then dried on raised beds for 15 - 22 days. Kanyege is supplied by a group of 1200 farmers from the sectors surrounding the washing station.