‘Muungano’ means ‘togetherness’ in Swahili and it is a guiding principal for the farmers of Muungano Coffee Co-operative. The people – Bahunde, Bahavu, Bashi, Batembo and Congolese of Rwandan origin - of Eastern Congo were divided by war. Through the co-operative they are working together again and creating better prospects for their families.
From 350 founder members in 2009, the co-operative has grown to 2,300 farmers in 2012, with many more farmers committed to joining. They are producing specialty fully-washed Arabica in the mountains of Eastern Congo, against the backdrop of Lake Kivu.
Leading the coffee quality revival in Congo
Muungano’s farmers have the perfect conditions to produce top grade specialty washed-Arabica coffee and they are wholly committed to fulfilling this potential. They are investing in coffee nurseries and building community-level micro-washing stations; as well as renovating the land by planting new seedlings and harvesting the coffee scrupulously.
Muungano is scheduled to build its own cupping laboratory in 2013 and will identify local people to receive extensive training to learn the skills and universal language of the specialty coffee market.
Preserving the land
Farmers tend to the land naturally, using homemade compost and mulch. Since the coffee is interspersed with villages and homes, they see this as important for people’s health as well as the environment.
The farmers are taking measures to combat the risks of landslides in heavy rain, including planting trees with deep roots to strengthen the soil structure.
La Cooperative de Café Muungano, Kiniezire, Territoire de Kalihi, Province Sud Kivu, DR Congo. Tel:+ 243 997 283 419 Email: Coope.firstname.lastname@example.org