The farming community in North Kivu has become accustomed to adversity. Armed incursion, corruption and disease are part of everyday life, but in coffee they see hope. Coffee is one of the only cash crops these producers grow. It puts money on the table, brings stability to the community and enables farmers to plan.
The Kawa Kanzururu Cooperative is an exciting new Coop with a network of 24 micro-mills along the western rim of the Rwenzori Mountain Range. The benefit of working through a Coop is of huge importance to smallholders since North Kivu is landlocked. Plugging Congolese coffee into the global supply chain means transporting it to the Port of Mombasa in Kenya to reach the sea. Thus, working collectively is essential. The Kawa Kanzururu Coop is also focused on expanded production and quality.
The farming community borders the Virunga National Park which occupies the Semliki River Valley in the 140 km stretch between lakes Edward and Albert in the westernmost arm of the Great Rift Valley. Cocoa and palm oil are also grown in the lower zones, and new crops such as chia seed are also starting to take root. The conditions here are ideal for growing coffee: deep, fertile, volcanic soil, high altitude and adequate rainfall.