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We provide high-quality Rwanda basil to the local and export markets. We source the raw fresh Rwanda basil from family growers in the Great Lakes region’s country.

Rwanda basil (Ocimum basilicum) or umwenya (umuyena) in Kinyarwanda has earned the name ‘king of herbs’ because of its deep culinary and medicinal uses. The ‘sacred herb’ as it is known in the horn of Africa, is a staple for spicing dishes made of legumes. Locals in Rwanda harvest it when the leaves have matured and dry it in the sun for spicing meals and producing an essential oil.  The rest goes for sale. The origin of the plant was south-east Asia: it was growing in the wild long before its domestication in India around 5000 years ago.

Rwanda grows a number of varieties. There is the O. kilimandscharicum, which thrives well in neighboring Tanzania as the name ‘kilima’ hints. It is dark purple and hence its common term, Dark Opal. One of the most common is the African blue basil with its purplish flowers and bright green leaves. It is a common sight in both flower and herbal markets. There is also the Swahili-named mtule (Ocimum suave) variety that also makes it to the local reseller market.

Eating food spiced with basil is a ticket into bone health, courtesy of the 16% worth of the daily value of magnesium. The iron content is around 17% while that of teeth health-enabling calcium is 17%. The level of vitamin C for boosting immunity is about 30%. The level of dietary fiber which promotes proper digestion is approximately 1.6 grams or 6% of the daily needs. With 0% fat and zero cholesterol, the herb-cum-spice is a must-have for people fighting heart disease.

We source Rwanda basil from all parts of the country where it grows under irrigated conditions. We source it from family growers with between one and two acres of land. They cultivate it under farmyard manure with little use of chemical sprays to keep it low in residual levels.

We harvest Rwanda blue basil at different times of the year depending on the purpose. If it is for fresh herbs, we cut the leaves just an inch or so below the bottom pair of shoots. For the leaves that are meant for drying, we harvest them during immaturity just a few days from the onset of flowers.  The oil-processing leaves are ready to cut when all the flowers have come up. We do the harvesting thrice a year. At the last harvesting bout, we slash the stem four inches off the ground to promote fresh growth.

We handle Rwanda basil under phytosanitary conditions after harvesting.  We begin by sorting to remove impurities that include leaves, stalks and sand particles.  We then wash the best selections in purified water which oozes into a drain. We rinse the stalks and drain them.  For the leaves meant for drying, we keep them in the sun.

We pack Rwanda basil in pre-cooled produce boxes by count. We do the pre-cooling at 10 degrees Celsius to keep the leaves rehydrated.  We pack the leaves in bundles of a few pieces at a time which we wrap in moisture-conserving polythene bags. We put these in waxed boxes or clamshells ready for the transit journey. We label each of the packages with the name/cultivar, net weight, packing date, the country of origin and the destination.

For the dried Rwanda basil and the oil-producing leaves, we do the packing immediately after the drying or processing is over. We dry them at 32 degrees Celsius.  We may also opt to use distillation to extract the oil. We retain 100 percent purity of the oil by adding no external ingredients.  We pack the extra-virgin oil in PET bottles of 300 ml or 1 l custom measures.

Our storage parameters for Rwanda basil starts right after pre-cooling at harvest time at 10 degrees Celsius. We maintain this cool temperature during its stint at the cold house in packed form. We transfer it to the airport in Kigali expeditiously via our hydro-cooled trucks. The shipment usually takes 24 to 48 hours to make it to your door.

Indeed, whether you want blue basil, Dark Opal or mtule varieties, you now have the perfect spice, namely Rwanda basil. We source the produce from Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)-certified parts of the country, itself a guarantee of quality. We keep the quantity exact by working with a vast network of sources that produce a surplus. We keep the prices marginally low to suit your budget. This is why you should make an order today!

 


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