- Producer: Gitega Hills IS#1 Rwanda
- Process: Washed
- Flavour notes: Red grape, Raspberry, Marmalade
Just 12km from neighbouring Bwenda in the Cyanika sector and slightly higher up, adjacent to a disused quartz quarry, sits Gitega Hills. Slightly larger than Bwenda, Gitega covers an area of around 6 hectares and is near the small town of Miko. Gitega is the name of the surrounding land cell. A cell being a smaller area within a larger sector, within a larger region or province. Established by RTC in 2016, the station has been managed since then by Alex. Everyone who works at Gitega is from the local community and Alex feels that the station plays a valuable and positive role in the area for the work it provides. Good rainfall the area experienced during the harvest pointed to great quality for the 2022 season’s yields. Gitega employs 150 people including 11 permanently, with the rest being seasonal workers. 90% are women. 1040 farmers contribute cherry to Gitega’s annual production and in 2016 they processed 400 tons of cherry. At the time of our visit they had already hit 500 tons with the expectation to hit 700 before they stopped processing for the season. The farms all lie between 0.5km and 7km away and are serviced by 33 different cherry collection points. On average the contributing farms grow just 400 trees (1 hectare). Additionally, the station provides farmers with organic EM2 compost which consists of recycled cherry pulp from the station with some animal manure. All 1040 farmers using Gitega have completed or are current participants in the ATP.