Burundi Kibingo Fully Washed.

Kibingo washing station is located in Kayanza commune in northern Burundi. The station itself sits 1,893 meters above sea level. The altitude of the farms on the neighboring hills that supply the washing station varies from 1,700 to 1,900 meters above sea level. Kibingo serves 3,515 registered coffee growers who are spread over 18 hills in the area. All producers registered at a Greenco washing station are organized into groups of 30 people, headed by a farm leader. This leader acts as a spokesman to facilitate communication and organization with the washing station. The washing station is equipped with 10 fermentation tanks, 2 soaking tanks and a drying field with 165 drying tables and 4 pre-drying tables. Kibingo can process 750,000 kg of cherry per day. The washing station participates in a number of farmer outreach and support projects including a livestock rearing project and a range of Farmer Hub projects centered on strengthening cooperatives and improving yields.

The fully washed coffees are depulped and fermented in water for 24 to 36 hours, depending on weather conditions. After fermentation, the coffee is dried for 6 to 9 days on concrete patios. Each day-lot is cupped by the Coto Quality Control team and separated by cup profile. Most coffee trees in Burundi are Red Bourbon for reasons of quality. Because of the increasingly small size of coffee plantings, aging rootstock is a very big issue in Burundi. Many farmers have trees that are over 50 years old, but with small plots to farm, it is difficult to justify taking trees entirely out of production for the 3 to 4 years it will take new plantings to begin to yield. During the harvest season, all coffee is selectively handpicked.

Most families only have 200 to 250 trees, and harvesting is done almost entirely by the family. Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherry. Cherries are wet-processed under constant supervision. The pulping, fermentation time, washing, grading in the channels and a final soaking are all closely monitored. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check quality. After floating, the higher quality cherry is sorted again by hand to remove all damaged, underripe and overripe cherries. After sorting, cherry is pulped within 6 hours of delivery.

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