Sustainable Harvest® Rwanda
Sustainable Harvest® has been selected by Bloomberg Philanthropies to bring its innovative economic Relationship Model of development to low-income rural women based in Rwanda.
Increase value throughout the supply chain by investing with growers in training and infrastructure at origin to deliver the highest-quality product to their buyers around the globe.
Sustainable Harvest, Women for Women International, Government of Rwanda
This project aimed to improve the livelihoods of low-income women farmers through training that creates the basis for more transparent trade, improved quality, and higher prices. Through the project, women farmers have been able to grow more from their small plots of land, have access to international buyers, reduce their exposure to financial commodity market risk, and improve the environmental sustainability of their communities.
Now in year three, the Rwanda project has made a substantial, tangible impact on the women farmers involved. In early 2015 we held a graduation ceremony for the first 829 women to complete the training program, and thousands more are currently enrolled.
The program aims to increase the women’s livelihoods, and one development to that end is the construction of two new washing stations by women in the Nyaguru and Kayonza cooperatives. Previously, the women sold their harvested cherries to a privately owned washing station, where they received a farm gate price per kilogram of coffee and then lost their connection to it. However, the new washing stations give the women much more ownership of their coffee, as they still control the sun-dried coffee after processing.
The sale of that sun-dried coffee is the ultimate income of the cooperative and its members, the value of which is much higher than cherries before processing. The washing stations are not just new processing facilities, but symbols of transformation.