MAY 2012: UGEAFI
UGEAFI is a local Non-Governmental development Organization created in March 1990 in the South of South- Kivu district in theDemocratic Republic of the Congoworking mainly in the field of Peace and Reconciliation, Agriculture, Breeding, Education, Gender and Environment.
In terms of production, from October 2005 to the present, on request of the people, UGEAFI organized the establishment of nurseries at Mutambala, Bibokoboko Lemera which has generated at least 400,000 plants to meet the needs of more than 2000 coffee growers at a rate of 200 plants per farmer. The seeds used are from the high-yielding cultivar Bourbon 139 (BM 139), purchased from the Institute of Agricultural Sciences of Rwanda (ISAR) and distributed to farmers in the area.
UGEAFI now supports 2473 new and old coffee growers, including those that have not yet reached the stage of producing cherries. In total, over the past three years, only 1548 coffee producers from Mutambala, Bibokoboko and Lemera have produced and sold coffee. They have seen their incomes increased through the sale of 48,732.76 kg of parchment coffee in the local and international markets (19.2 tons).
Organization: UGEAFI accompanied the consolidation process of coffee farmers in 10 cooperatives by providing the legal texts governing among other statutes and rules of procedure. As a result, it gave them an initial training on the initiation and organization of cooperatives.
Marketing: UGEAFI does not have expertise in the marketing of coffee. That is why it has seen fit to work with Twin, a British coffee import company, to market the coffee produced by the coffee growers and export at least one container (19.2 tonnes) during the 2011 campaign.
In this very same optic, the results of the analysis of 9 processed and prepared samples of coffee made in Rwanda by the RWASHOSSCO LABORATORY under the guidance of Twin all showed good characteristics of basic taste (SCAA scale from 79 to 87 points out of 100). This sufficiently proves that there is real potential for farmers to produce fine coffees and coffee of specialty and quality (SCAA scale of 80 points or more).
During the last five years, we have worked to produce and sell the products of a good market in hopes to increase the safety of household incomes of those areas to reduce on the poverty since it has not only been the source of conflicts between the communities of Babembe, Banyamulenge and Bafuliru but it has also led to the recruitment of young people in local armed groups such as Mai -Mai and FRF in these regions.
However, there remain major challenges at several levels in the short, medium and long term that should not be underestimated. These challenges can be grouped in terms of technical, organizational and commercial.
On the technical side, the major problems lie on availing equipment, materials and logistics for the transportation of coffee in a timely manner. Also, the demand for coffee plants is increasing. Over 2000 households expressed the need to start new plants for their products to increase
Technicians of UGEAFI are accompanying them on techniques and farming methods, but lack appropriate training for capacity building in the Cherry collection, treatment, processing and packaging.
On the side of organization, the cooperatives of coffee farmers should be trained in management of cooperatives and the chain of production from coffee production up to its marketing. The Central Co-operative development in order to accompany the 10 cooperatives of coffee growers requires a mechanism for capacity building (training in marketing, management of the coffee at the local, regional and international level).
On the Commercial Side, it would be desirable to train cooperatives quickly, build the capacities of their Marketing systems and attain the processes to get the certification FLO. The combination of high quality with double certification organic and fair trade will provide a sustainable market with attractive premiums to producers.
To respond effectively and efficiently, UGEAFI launches this project in order to ensure the initial investment (in equipment, materials, training and certification) to ensure the production, processing and marketing of coffee is the sole object of improving the socio-economic living of coffee producers in the region.
- By 2012, coffee production is to increase from 19.2 to 38.4 tons of green coffee (merchant);
- By 2012, 10 cooperatives of coffee farmers will have access to the best coffee markets and have acquired the certificate of Fair Trade (FLO);
- By 2012, 2000 producers will have mastered the chain of production, processing and marketing of coffee and will have access to equipment and materials suitable for the production of coffee of the highest quality;
- By 2012, the cooperative operations center is able to manage the operations of the entire chain from production up to the Export of coffee.