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The Role of Coffee in Burundi feat. Keke

Burundi is the country, where coffee meets Bean United's mission. So, today we will learn more about Burundian coffee culture from our Social Burundi Reporter Keke. Keke is going to explain how coffee cultivation came to Burundi and what role coffee production plays in the economy and regarding employment.

a coffee farmer stands inmidst his coffee plants in Burundi and looks at the coffee cherries

There is a long history of coffee cultivation in Burundi

"Burundi has long been a country known for its farming with a large part of the population involved in agriculture. Even today, agriculture, including coffee, is the prime industry supporting the people of Burundi. Most coffee grown in Burundi comes from Arabica plants which were brought to the region by Belgian colonists. This introduction profited the economies of other countries, establishing vast inequality and driving the people of Burundi into further poverty."

Burundi is known for excellent coffee quality

"Burundi has a reputation for being one of the best countries for producing specialty coffee beans in Africa. Burundi is mountainous, the average elevation throughout the country is 1,700m above sea level. This gives Burundi coffee a unique body with an overall sweetness. Most coffee production takes place in the Northwest, for example in the regions of Kirimiro, Bwer or Mumirwa."

Coffee farmers at work in the hills of Burundi. They are wearing colourful clothes and carrying buckets

The coffee industry plays a significant role in Burundi's economy

"Smallholder farmers and cooperatives account for most of the coffee growing in Burundi. It has been estimated that more than one million Burundian families are employed by the country's coffee industry.
Also, coffee makes up an important part of Burundi's national economy, as well as providing work for over 150,000 people including women and their families, a demographic that tends to struggle with generating income. Overall, coffee in Burundi plays a very important role because of its employment rates."

Coffee farmers sorting the red cofee cherries

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