Nguvu is produced in Beni, a territory that is often in the news as pockets of conflict and terrorism still exist. This lot was delayed due to armed attacks that led farmers to flee and seek refuge temporarily outside of Beni for weeks. They came back once security was restored and ensured safe delivery of high quality coffee. Coffee revenue and income is critical in such conflict and post-conflict zones.
A Farmer’s Story
Paluku Mulisya Jonas has been a coffee grower since 2005. For a long time, he sold his coffee to brokers and smugglers from Uganda at low prices. At the time, there was no alternative for selling coffee. Now that he doesn’t sell his coffee at unfair prices to smugglers, he was able to buy more land and expand his coffee business. Mr. Jonas has 4 children and hopes to see them all go to University.
Cooperative: Kawa Kanzururu
Kanzururu means white and clean like the snow on the Rwenzori mountain*
Kawa Kanzururu Cooperative
Founded in 2012, Cooperative Kawa Kanzururu is based in Beni, a territory in North Kivu, close to the border with Uganda. This territory currently faces the most intermittent violence due in part to local militias as well as armed groups from Uganda who seek political and economic power and influence.**
Prolonged conflicts contributed to a significant decrease in coffee production and the impoverishment of farmers and producers in the region. This extreme poverty was exacerbated by rampant insecurity as well as the increasing power of Ugandan middle-men who were driving illicit smuggling.
Despite these challenges, the founding leaders were resourceful, believed in coffee’s potential to change the community’s fortunes and were able to secure funding and technical support from various non-profit organizations seeking to make a positive impact in the region.
This initial funding provided 50% of the needed investment to start producing specialty coffee and the 523 founding members provided the remaining 50%: they’ve shared their resources to strengthen their community since the cooperative’s inception.
Out of the 523 founding members, there were 154 women; there are 1,848 members today, including 231 women.
*There are snow capped mountains in Congo, avid and adventurous skiers often congregate in North Kivu for that reason.
**Multiple exports from Mighty Peace Coffee have been delayed due to smallholder producers having to temporarily flee due to attacks from militia. Our commitment to this community remains strong as access to markets, buyers and partners like Mighty Peace Coffee provide a lifeline given the current dire circumstances.