"Coffee and Hope Grow in Rawanda"

“OVER the last dozen years, the view from Gemima Mukashyaka’s small coffee garden in the lush emerald-green hills of southwestern Rwanda has changed. In 1994, after the genocide that killed 800,000 people, it was a site of devastation, chaos and abandonment. Five years ago, when worldwide coffee prices spiraled downward, her neighbors in the densely populated region near Butare were uprooting their coffee trees and planting quick-growing food crops to survive.

But today, there’s a clean coffee processing station nearby, and sprouted around it are two restaurants, a pharmacy, a bank, six hair salons, and just last week, the village’s first Internet cafe.

“My coffee gave me hope for a better future,” Ms. Mukashyaka, 29, said. At last harvest, her coffee, sold through a farmers’ cooperative to a gourmet coffee roaster in the United States, fetched three times the price it did five years ago.”

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  1. Brian Sibley says:

    As an inveterate TEA-drinker (a Brit, of course!) I wonder whether Fairtrade and others are doing as much for those working on tea plantations as is claimed for the coffee trade…

    As a cynic, I wonder whether anyone is doing anywhere near enough for any of these people in third world countries whose resources we richer nations rely on without – on most people’s part – much thought…

  2. looks like more of a reason to enjoy some coffee.

    –RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

  3. Hey Brian,
    Thanks for stopping by.
    Love that your a fellow cynic – let’s pray that it drives us to pursue deeper truth. (Pray extra for me).

    I don’t know how much is actually being done so I can’t comment on that but I like that it’s increasing commerce for the people there. We should also pray they would not be exploited.

    I don’t say this as a proud customer, but of all companies, it seems that Starbucks has been very good to the South American coffee growers. Though I am still suspicious, I would like to believe that these reports are true.

    And for the record, at night, I drink herbal tea, usually mint – but “Nightime Mint Herbal Tea Reflections” doesn’t sound as cool.

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