Complementing coffee processing with horticulture is profitable
With over 75,000 coffee trees sitting on 30 hectares of land, Sake Farm is located in Eastern Province of Rwanda, Ngoma District in Sake sector. The company which grows and roasts its brand ‘Sake coffee’ has been in existence since 1999. Sake coffee washing station is primarily supplied by the sake coffee plantation, but also other coffee farmers supply to the washing station who live in a radius of 10 kilometres.
The company processes five tonnes of roasted coffee for export and another five for local markets. During the coffee season, the company contracts between 100-150 workers for four months. With 15 permanent employees, daily the company works with 55 casual workers from the area.
Sake Farm is also involved in horticulture farming of passion fruits, water melon and tree tomato. The managing director Marie Laetitia Kayitesire became a member of AAA this year. “It’s been not more than six months and I have benefitted from two trainings already, Branding and Packaging training in Arusha and the Business Plan writing in Kigali,” says Laetitia adding that she has received a lot of positive support from the members.
She attributes part of her business growth to the networking opportunities with AAA. Through the Academy, she already is in a business partnership with Juvenal Ndayisenga who is in fruit processing. Laetitia supplies the fresh fruits to Juvenal noting that her produce has a ready market thanks to AAA.
“I have gained a lot from the business contacts I have managed to get. The members have been giving business referrals about Sake Farm to potential clients.”
In the near future, Laetitia hopes to visit other related businesses in coffee and horticulture in order to learn more on improving her business. With the recently acquired skills on business plan writing, she is keen on getting financing for expansion and in turn creating more jobs for the community.
“I will put more effort in completing my business plan, it will take time but I believe it is worth the sacrifice.”