Coffee has been grown in Burundi since the 1920s. Belgian colonial rulers brought the coffee plant into the country. In the 1930s, coffee was even mandatory, and every farmer had to cultivate at least 50 coffee trees. After years of political and ethnic conflicts, with the genocide in 1965 as the darkest chapter, the country is gradually recovering.
Today, 70% of the washing stations are privately owned and the country is focusing on smaller volumes of high-quality coffees. In total, there are about 120 washing stations in Burundi. A washing station is supplied by several hundreds to 2000 producers. The smallest country in Africa offers ideal geographical conditions for coffee cultivation, especially the mountainous region with ideal altitudes and climatic zones.
Coffee is grown in all parts of the country. The northern region of Ngozi is the largest, which is why 25% of the washing stations are located here. Green coffee is one of the most important export goods of the country with an export volume of 190.000 60kg bags in the crop year 2017/18. However, due to ongoing political instability, many investments have been discontinued, which has a direct impact on the state budget as well as on coffee production.
The potato defect occurs both in Burundi and in Rwanda. These are bacteria that settle in the skin of the cherry. The difficulty is that the defect becomes noticeable only after roasting in the form of an odor reminiscent of peeling a potato. However, with a precise picking, processing and sorting of the parchment, the defect can be almost controlled.