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Rwenzori Bugoye

The Rwenzoris are a mountain range famously known as the ‘Mountains of the Moon.’ They stretch for 120 kilometres along the Western Uganda border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The snow-capped peaks reach over 5,000 metres above sea level and support glaciers that are the start of many rivers flowing down the slopes (including one source of the Nile). The slopes of this range are where the government of Uganda is promoting coffee production as a key driver for rural development.

The area is also home to the Bakonzo tribe, a people who have farmed the foothills of the Rwenzori for many generations. The high altitude, fertile soils and plentiful rainfall provide perfect growing conditions for Arabica coffee. Coffee offers the Bakonzo farmers a stable income that allows them to support their families and develop their homes. The coffee is grown under the shade of banana trees, while the mixed farms also produce cassava, maize, beans and groundnuts for local consumption and additional income.

  • Farm Rwenzori Bugoye
  • Varietal Nyasaland & Bugisu
  • Process Natural
  • Altitude 1,700 to 2,200 metres above sea level
  • Town / City Bugoye, Kasese
  • Region Rwenzori – Western Uganda
  • Owner 2,000 farmers - members of Rwenzori Arabica Scheme Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd.
  • Tasting Notes Pulpy, dark choc, peach
  • Farm Size 1,000+ hectares in total
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Rwenzori Bugoye

Bukonzo county is divided into many sub-counties including Bugoye, Kisinga, Kyondo, Kyarumba, Munkunyu, Mahango, Nyakatonzi and Isango. The area has many small towns situated on the lowlands, which are joined by road networks. These towns provide ideal locations for coffee processing and are home to many farmer groups, primary processors and it is in one of these towns, Bugoye, where Kyagalanyi, our exporting partners in Uganda, have located its second washing station. At this station, Kyagalanyi is focusing on high quality specialty natural Arabica.

Most farmers have around 1 hectare of land, and all work on the farm is conducted by hand, usually by immediate family members. Families work together in groups, usually community-based but sometimes also extended family groups, to process and market their coffee, an approach known as ‘share farming.’ This helps improve processing, better control quality and increases their marketing ability.

About Uganda

For many, Uganda might not the first country that comes to mind when thinking of high-quality Arabica: the country has been traditionally known as a producer of Robusta – in fact, some of the highest quality Robusta available on the market – and is reputed to even be its birthplace. However, in many regions of the country the challenges to quality Arabica production are certainly more a matter of infrastructure, history and knowledge than environment. For instance, the slopes of Mt. Elgon in the eastern reaches of the country (bordering Kenya) and on the slopes of the Mount Rwenzori, known locally as the ‘mountains of the moon’, in the Northwest bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are microclimates and terrains that are ideal for the production of high-quality coffee.