A new pasteurisation machine for Dukunde Kawa

Some three years ago we started a conversation with the Dukunde Kawa Cooperative, in Rwanda’s Northern Province, about how best to support their farmer members during coffee’s off season. Outside of coffee production the cooperative assists their members in a number of social programs and business ventures, including a dairy that supplies the local hospital and markets with milk and yoghurt.

The dairy is supplied by individual farmer members and their families, who typically keep a cow on their small farms. Dukunde Kawa has distributed over 200 dairy cows to its members, in partnership with the Rwandan Government’s One Cow per Poor Family program. This program was implemented in 2006 to help fight poverty and malnutrition in rural areas. For Rwandese people, cows are an important asset for the family, and a traditional symbol of wealth and status. By gifting a family with a cow, the cooperative is not only providing its members with a source of nutrition and alternative income to coffee, but also reinstating pride to the household (which likely suffered devastating outcomes during the 1994 Genocide).

Dukunde Kawa’s Executive Secretary, Isaac Nsanzamahoro, explained that installing a pasteurisation machine for the dairy would extend the shelf life of its products, and allow the cooperative to transport them to the country’s capital, Kigali, where they can be sold at a much higher premium. At a steep $18,000 AUD Dukunde Kawa needed some help in financing this important investment. Along with some incredibly generous customers we were able to raise almost $10,000 to put towards the purchase, which we proudly donated to Dukunde Kawa in early 2018. This equipment will help improve the livelihoods and futures of contributing farmers by increasing income outside of their coffee harvest.

We’re happy to report that the pasteurisation machine was finally installed in early 2019, and is in use! On our most recent trip to Rwanda in June 2019 we toured the dairy and met some of its six permanent staff members. The pasteurisation machine is in place, and capable of processing over 500L of milk daily. We’re excited to see the dairy grow in volume and revenue over the next few years.

A huge thank you to our dear friends and partners in fundraising for this equipment. This wouldn’t have happened without your incredibly hard work and investment.


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