19 October 2017

Africa: Rwanda Scoops International Coffee Award

Photo: Daily News
Coffee beans.

#GoodMorningAfrica from Rwanda, which received one of the 2017 international coffee awards. The land of a thousand hills received the 2017 Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award at a ceremony in New York, USA.

The land of a thousand hills received the 2017 Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award at a ceremony in New York, USA.

Jean Bosco Ngabonziza of Rusizi Coffee Washing Station won the first place for "a medium full-bodied coffee with a balanced flavour. Strong caramel notes, toasted bread is mixed with a sight coffee chocolate aftertaste."

Tumwamini Ndamwerema Jean Paul and Faustin Nhzabarakize of Liza and Mashehsa Coffee washing station respectively came in second and third place.

Rwanda's ambassador to the United Nations Valentine Rugwabiza received the award on behalf of the winners.

Read: Model Villages for the poor of Rwanda

Rwandan dark roast coffee beans. Photo: Wiki/ Creative commons/Evan-Amos

The win comes at the time when Rwanda's National Agricultural Exports Board and stakeholders started a countrywide campaign to distribute more than 4,700 tonnes of fertilisers to coffee farmers. The move is geared towards increasing coffee production and export. The board is working together with the Coffee Exporters and Processors Association of Rwanda (CEPAR) to ensure that all farmers enjoy the benefits of the project.

Coffee is one of the contributors to the country's agricultural exports at 24 per cent over the last decade.

Just last month, the board is also running another campaign to boost coffee production and consumption. The head of the board, Dr Celestin Gatarayiha said the sensitisation will make the over 400,000 farmers in Rwanda embrace good agricultural and post-harvest practices that will not only increase productivity and enhance the quality of their coffee.

The plan is to increase domestic consumption to contribute towards stabilising the price fluctuations in the global market.

#Rwanda awarded at the 2nd Ernesto Illy Int'l Coffee Award @UN.Award recognizes top quality growers of the best coffee beans across the 🌎 pic.twitter.com/oQ9Jh4grRk

- Mission of Rwanda UN (@RwandaUN) October 16, 2017

In July, the board partnered with Japan International Cooperation Agency to send coffee experts to train local sector stakeholders on how to enhance the production and marketing of coffee.

The Ernesto Illy awards has 27 contestants from different countries including Nicaragua, India, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and Brazil. The annual award by the Illy Family recognises three best coffee from these countries and celebrates individual players who make the Illy espresso blend possible.

Jose Abelardo Diaz Enamorado from Honduras won the Best of the Best and Coffee Lovers Award, as determined by blind consumer tastings.

The top scoring coffees from each of the nine countries will be made available at select Illy retail locations.

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