Sunday, April 12, 2009

Project Rwanda

Considering the love Adam has for mountain biking and coffee, I thought I should share some information about Project Rwanda. You can visit their website for more details
Mission Statement: Project Rwanda is committed to furthering the economic development of Rwanda through initiatives based on the bicycle as a tool and symbol of hope. Our goal is use the bike to help boost the Rwandan economy as well as re-brand Rwanda as a beautiful and safe place to do business and visit freely.
The coffee-bike program: If the transport time of cherries coming from the coffee field to the washing station was reduced to from six to 12 hours down to two to four, research has shown that cup quality will increase significantly from 82/100 to 86/100 on sensory evaluation scores from which coffee price is determined. This translates into a $0.15 or higher premium per pound of green coffee sold. It’s our opinion that bicycles can solve the transport problem if a program could make the bikes available to farmers for a reasonable price on credit and where quality premiums would cover the bike’s cost. A collaborative venture is being formed between Project Rwanda (, Ritchey Design Inc. (, and Rwanda Smallholders Specialty Coffee Company (RWASHOSCCO).
The program has great potential since it not only increases quality and income generation through coffee, it provides a major capital asset to the family. This asset can in turn be used as collateral for loans, generate supplementary income, reduce transport costs and time for water carrying and market going and provide a means to ‘gather socially’ for community events or other friendships that were impossible to attend otherwise.

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